Subj: REQUIREMENT TO UPDATE, RESTRUCTURE, AND REFINE CURRENT MARINE CORPS LEADERSHIP INTERACTION PROGRAMS
Ref: (a) NAVMC DIR 2795 USMC Users Guide to Counseling
(b) MCO 1500.58 Marine Corps Mentoring Program
(c) NAVMC 1500.58 Marine Corps Mentoring Program Guidebook
(d) MCO 1500.56 Marine Corps Values program
(e) Paper, LtCol M.D. Grice, Counseling, Coaching, and Mentoring
(f) Sergeant’s Course Instruction, Mentoring Subordinate Leaders
BACKGROUND: The Marine Corps has established several programs which provide guidance on specific leadership interactions, most notably, the Marine Corps Counseling program and the Marine Corps Mentoring Program (MCMP). These two programs provide useful information and describe practices which leaders currently use to guide and develop their Marines. However, in some cases, these programs define terms inaccurately and/or provide contradictory guidance, causing confusion and distrust in what should be a relationship marked by confidence and clarity. The end result has been an unintended breakdown in interaction between leaders and subordinates. The Marine Corps must institute a revision of the Marine Corps Mentoring and Counseling programs which incorporates and synchronizes the valuable practices of both programs, creating a product which can more fully encompass the art and science of Marine Corps Leadership.
1. In an effort to enhance accountability and communication between juniors/seniors within the chain of command, the Marine Corps instituted NAVMC Directive 2795, The Marine Corps Counseling program (1986). This program was executed throughout the Marine Corps, but was often regarded as overly negative and purely mission focused. The Marine Corps Mentoring program, MCO 1500.58 (2006), was enacted to mitigate the perceived negative bias of the counseling program as well as to provide leaders more avenues to help develop the junior Marine as a whole. Both programs have valid attributes, and both have been used with success by Marine Corps leaders of all ranks; however, there are several issues that have prevented the complete adoption of either the Counseling or Mentoring program into Marine Corps leadership practices.
Because Counseling is primarily focused on the chain of command and unit mission accomplishment, it does not address critical aspects of senior/junior relationships, such as the various forms of mentoring.
In many instances, the focal point of the Counseling program has become very negative, and is often used by Marine leaders as a way to document failures and possibly punish a Marine instead of providing constructive feedback (positive or negative).
The Mentoring program attempts to rectify the inadequacies of the Counseling program by replacing the concept of counseling with the concept of mentoring; however, these leadership interactions are complementary, not interchangeable.
The de-facto assignment of mentors has degraded the trust between mentors/protégés, establishing counter-productive limits to the relationship for both parties.
Under the Mentoring program, a Marine’s mentor is his/her immediate senior, eroding a key concept of the mentoring process, the chemistry that leads mentors/protégés to establish appropriate rapport and trust.
The Mentoring program stressed only one type of mentoring, formalized, missing the opportunity to fully utilize the practices of informal, sponsorship, and developmental mentoring.
NAVMC 1500.58 Marine Corps Mentoring Program Guidebook, a 148 page user’s guide, is overly long and cumbersome, with proclivity towards counseling vice mentoring.
Adding to the confusion, the Marine Corps Mentoring Order and its primary guide, NAVMC Directive 1500.58, the Marine Corps Mentoring Program Guidebook, are contradictory regarding the role of the Marine Corps Counseling program. MCO 1500.58 states that the Marine Corps Mentoring program does not replace the Counseling program and NAVMC Dir 1500.58 states that it does replace it. In their current form, the Counseling program and the Mentoring program exist simultaneously which has had a negative impact on their execution.
2. In order to implement a program that establishes the procedures and requirements for formal counseling while promoting the establishment of mentoring relationships, the existing orders/directives must be restructured into a new program with a strong leadership construct. The new program should include the following characteristics:
Incorporate Lejeune Leadership Institute (LLI) recommendations (based on concerns generated within leadership development forums such as the Russell Leadership Conferences, Faculty Advisor’s Course, and JFCOM Small Unit Leader Conference) to clarify counseling and mentoring relationships and prepare leaders to execute both.
Synthesize the points of value from NAVMC DIR 2795 USMC Users Guide to Counseling, MCO 1500.58 Marine Corps Mentoring Program, NAVMC 1500.58 Marine Corps Mentoring Program Guidebook, MCO 1500.56 Marine Corps Values program, and the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program as well as the updated Leadership doctrine and warfighting publications.
Delineate counseling and mentoring, emphasizing the difference between these interactions while stressing their complementary nature.
Establish counseling as the primary method for seniors to provide guidance to juniors within the chain of command as it employs a tangible standard or metric for performance.
Educate leaders to ensure counseling remains a positive interaction focused upon development of subordinates leading to improved performance and mission accomplishment.
Design the Counseling aspect of the program to be compatible with, and mutually supportive of, the current “Human Factors Board” initiative
Ensure that within the counseling program, mentoring education between seniors and juniors becomes a priority of effort, and effective mentoring must be considered a metric of success for all leaders.
Place Mentoring outside the strict confines of the chain of command, being more dependent on informal relations in which the protégé gains a greater depth of knowledge, experience, or maturity resultant of the mentor’s guidance.
When discussing mentoring relationships, promote language that encourages the fostering of relationships, vice forcing relationships.
When defining the responsibilities of a mentor, include the concept of “trusted advisor”. While mentor/protégé conversations should not be considered privileged (such as those with a chaplain or medical officer) the protégé should feel that discussions with a mentor will provide some degree of privacy.
Emphasize that the protégé is responsible for seeking out and finding a mentor(s), however, NCOICs/SNCOICs/OICs as part of their counseling duties, should assist their subordinates in this search, and units should establish a cadre of role models available to mentor junior Marines
Prepare leaders to discuss mentoring, encourage mentoring, and execute the responsibilities of a mentor along the full spectrum of mentorship practices through EPME and OPME curriculum, as well as other PME instruction,.
Develop a concise, streamlined, and accessible product (guidebook), adaptable for all ranks, which provides “How to” guidance on both counseling and mentoring. The proposed guidebook should utilize the varied and numerous resources available through Military OneSource and establish methods to facilitate early identification of Marines that require extra assistance, the development of non-attribution relationships, and the required follow-up supervision.
Create a standardized electronic format for documenting formal counseling occasions.
Establish a Counseling/Mentoring Resource Center, a physical or virtual repository for education and training materials which would include (self-directed courses).
3. The proposed Marine Corps Leadership Interaction and Assistance Program would supercede both the Marine Corps Counseling program and the Marine Corps Mentoring program. The combination of existing best practices with new leadership concepts identified during various forums, will provide Marine Leaders with a program which will substantially increase communication and clarity within both formal and informal junior/senior relationships.
Subj: PROPOSED CHANGES TO MARINE CORPS LEADERSHIP DOCTRINE HIERARCHY
MCDP X, Marine Corps Leadership
The United States Marine Corps places a premium on developing leaders. While the Marine Corps considers leadership an inherent strength, the Corps lacks a codified and cohesive leadership and leadership training and education development process. There is no single publication or series of publications that defines the Marine Corps leadership philosophies and leadership development process or articulates the outcomes and standards required of Marine Corps leadership programs. MCDP X is the first publication within a new leadership hierarchy designed to codify the fundamental principles and philosophies of Marine Corps leadership.
MCDP X, Marine Corps Leadership, as a new publication will focus on the enduring leadership philosophies and concepts that are consistent with the core values of the Marine Corps and are required to lead Marines and develop Marine Leaders. This publication will form the foundation upon which all other leadership doctrine, policies, and orders are developed. More specifically, the publication will establish the framework for two subordinate warfighting leadership publications that will further codify leadership and leadership development within the Marine Corps.
The format for MCDP X has been specifically chosen to align with the format of MCDP-1, Warfighting. Similar to the Warfighting publication, this publication begins in Chapter 1, Leadership Environment, with the establishment or description of the environment in which Marine Leaders must operate. Chapter 2, Leadership Philosophy, then establishes the enduring doctrinal leadership philosophies of the Marine Corps that have been tested and proven throughout that operating environment. Chapter 3, Leading Marines, sets the stage for the development of MCWP X-11 by introducing the overarching leadership concepts required to lead Marines according to the Marine Corps leadership philosophies within the leadership environment. Chapter 4, Developing Marine Leaders, sets the stage for the development of MCWP X-21 through the codification of the leadership proficiencies and realm of responsibilities that serve as the forcing functions within the leadership development model. The leadership development model articulates the training and education process required to develop leaders who possess the traits and principles to lead Marines according to the core values and leadership philosophies within the context of the leadership environment. Chapter 5, Marine Corps Ethos, culminates this publication by connecting the environment, philosophies, leadership, and development into what is described as the Marine Corps ethos.
Much of the ideas, concepts, and, thoughts for MCDP - X, will be drawn from the previous leadership doctrine publication MCWP 6-11, Leading Marines. The material drawn from MCWP 6-11 will be used in the appropriate place within MCDP - X based upon the above described methodology. This material will be used as the baseline for MCDP-X to ensure that MCDP-X remains consistent with the time tested leadership ideas, thoughts, and philosophies of the Marine Corps. The concepts brought forward from MCWP 6-11 will be updated to reflect the format of the new MCDP and be inclusive of new ideas and concepts such as values based leadership, the leadership development continuum, and the leadership core competencies. MCDP-X will have strong ties to past leadership doctrine publications; however, MCDP – X is intended to descriptively codify the Marine Corps leadership philosophies and leadership development processes beyond the level in which other publications have done.
MCWP X-11, Leading Marines
MCDP X-11, Leading Marines, is the second publication within a new leadership hierarchy designed to codify the fundamental traits, principles, and tools required to lead Marines in accordance with the core values of the Marine Corps. Different from Marine Corps Leadership and Developing Marines, Leading Marines will focus on the how-to of being a leader of Marines by providing extremely practical and guidance-focused material on Marine leadership – not philosophy or development. This publication is intended to develop understanding and spark critical thought concerning the accepted Marine Corps leadership traits and principles and their application and importance to leadership.
Chapter 1 of MCWP X-11 will introduce the 14 leadership traits, provide a complete definition of each trait to enhance understanding, and provide relevant examples to facilitate critical thought. Chapter 2 will follow the same methodology using the leadership principles to provide the link between the traits and the principles and their dependent relationship. Chapter 3 culminates understanding the dependent relationship with the different manifestations of leadership to include myths about leadership, indicators of good leadership, and styles of leadership. Chapter 3 will conclude with a complete description of the required interaction between leaders charged with the development of subordinate leaders. This section will be designed to remove the confusion between coaching, counseling, and mentoring and establish the importance of these methodologies in developing Marine leaders.
MCWP X-21, Developing Marine Leaders
MCWP X-21, Developing Marine Leaders, as a new publication will focus on the leadership concepts and training and education required to develop Marine leaders. This publication will fully articulate the Marine Corps leadership development model to include the leadership proficiencies coupled with the leadership core competencies that drive the leadership training and education continuum. Chapters 1 & 2 will advance the leadership environment and philosophy material presented within MCDP X to establish the framework for the leadership training and education processes. Chapter 3 will describe the key components of that transformation required to turn a civilian into a Marine. This chapter will set the stage for the reference publication, beginning the transformation, which fully describes the steps in that process. Chapter 4 will fully describe the seven leadership proficiencies and the realm of responsibilities in which those proficiencies are required. The realm of responsibilities will become the link between the leadership proficiencies and the rank or command structure. The combination of the leadership proficiencies across the realm or responsibility will be described as the forcing function within the leadership training and education model at that point in the Marines career.
Leadership Development Model
Previous versions of the leadership development model portrayed the steps in a sequential order across a Marine’s career. The original format led to a process in which only Marines of senior ranks are considered capable of establishing a leadership climate or leading change. Overlaying the specific courses on that model also supported the perception that Marines sequentially move along the steps during their career. To correct this perception, the steps in previous leadership development models have been renamed "leadership proficiencies" which places them outside of the leadership progression model. The requirement for these "proficiencies" would remain consistent across a Marine's career with the scope, responsibility, and authority of a Marine's leadership position changing over time. The change in scope and responsibility of leadership across a Marine's career would be titled "the realm of responsibility." The “realm of responsibility” includes the core leadership competencies required of Marines at the different levels of authority commensurate with their grade.
The leadership development model is an attempt to represent the link between the leadership proficiencies, the competencies, and the training and education continuum. The goal was to develop a model that fully articulates the quest to refine the leadership proficiencies (leading self, preparing to lead, etc…) along the development continuum, in essence, being able to expertly apply all seven proficiencies within the scope, authority, and responsibility at each grade/ leadership position. The model also describes how we focus training and education toward the proficiencies based upon the scope, authority, and leadership responsibilities of each grade. One of the challenges faced was articulating the accurate and appropriate nexus of experience to training and education proficiencies. As scope, authority, and responsibility increases, training and education become more inversely correlated due to experience gained along the continuum.
MCDP X, Marine Corps Leadership
Purpose: MCDP X, Marine Corps Leadership, as a new publication focuses on the enduring leadership philosophies and concepts that are consistent with the core values of the Marine Corps and are required to develop Marine Leaders and Lead Marines. This publication forms the foundation upon which all other leadership doctrine, policies, and orders are developed. More specifically, the publication establishes the framework for two subordinate warfighting leadership publications that will further codify leadership and leadership development within the Marine Corps.
The Marine Corps Ethos
Chapter 1. Leadership Environment
Warfighting Philosophy (Soldiers of the Sea, Fighting Power and Winning)
Physical, Moral, and Mental Forces
Chapter 2. Leadership Philosophy
Obligations of Marine Corps Service
Values Based Leadership
Marine Corps Leadership
Chapter 3. Leading Marines
Inspire and Influence (Leadership Traits and Principles, Loyalty)
Enable Change (Adaptability, Innovation)
Set Climate (Setting the Example)
Coaching, Counseling, Mentoring
Chapter 4. Leadership Development
Establishing Standards (Being Ready, Establishing and Maintaining Standards)
Leadership Development Model
Realm of Responsibilities
Chapter 5. The Marine Leader
Every Marine a Rifleman
The Marine Tradition
The U.S. Marine
MCWP X-11, Leading Marines
Purpose: Different from Marine Corps Leadership and Developing Marines, Leading Marines will focus on the how-to of being a leader of Marines. Leading Marines will focus on the timeless traits and principles of being a Marine leader and provide extremely practical and guidance-focused material on Marine leadership – not philosophy or development. Target audience: Marines already in leadership seats.
Chapter 1. Leadership Traits
Chapter 2. Leadership Principles
Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
Be technically and tactically proficient.
Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.
Make sound and timely decisions.
Set the example.
Know your marines and look out for their welfare.
Keep your marines informed.
Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
Ensure assigned tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.
Train your marines as a team.
Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities.
Chapter 3. Leadership Application
Myths of leadership (form over substance, louder is better, with rank comes authority)
Indicators of Effective Leadership
Different Leadership styles (Tranformational, Transactional, Autocratic, Democratic, Pacesetting, Servant, etc)
Coaching, Counseling, Mentoring
Chapter 4. Conclusion
MCWP X-21, Developing Marine Leaders
Purpose: MCWP X-21, Developing Marine Leaders, as a new publication will focus on the leadership concepts required to develop Marine leaders. This publication will fully articulate the Marine Corps leadership development continuum to include the core competencies associated with the milestones in that continuum. The publication will also identify and describe the portions of the training and education continuum critical to the development of Marine Corps leadership.
The Chain of Command’s Role
The Individual’s Role
The NCO’s Role
The SNCO’s Role
The Commissioned Officer’s Role
Chapter 1. Leadership Development Environment
Goals & Processes
Chapter 2. Leadership Development Philosophy
Marine Corps Values
Chapter 3. Beginning the Transformation
Screening & Evaluation
Chapter 4. Sustaining the Transformation
Preparing to Lead Others
Leading Subordinate Leaders
Developing Subordinate Leaders
Develop Leadership Climate
Leadership Development Model
Realm of Responsibility (core competencies)
Mapping of current Leading Marines (MCWP6-11) to new MCDP
Chapter 3. Challenges
Friction (Ch. 1)
Moral Challenge (Ch. 1)
Physical Challenge (Ch. 1)
Overcoming Challenges: Adaptability, Innovation, Decentralization, and Will (Ch. 3)
Fighting Power and Winning (Ch. 1, Warfighting Phil.)
The Unique Obligations of Marine Corps Service (Ch. 2) Establishing and Maintaining Standards (Ch. 4)
Setting the Example (Ch. 3)
Individual Courage (Ch. 2)
Unit Esprit (Ch. 5)
Being Ready (Ch. 4)
Chapter 2. Foundations
The U. S. Marine (Introduction)
Every Marine a Rifleman (Ch. 5)
Soldiers of the Sea (Ch. 1 Warfighting Philosophy)
The Marine Tradition (Ch. 5)
Chapter 1. Our Ethos