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Gen. Robert B. Neller

Photo by MGySgt John Cordero

A Message from the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps

24 Sep 2015 | Courtesy Story Headquarters Marine Corps

"All previous guidance remains in effect"

To all Marines, Sailors, civilians and families, I am honored to serve as your Commandant.  To General and Mrs. Dunford, as you transition to your next assignment, please know that you go with the respect and thanks of every Marine, Sailor and their families.  It is now our responsibility to maintain the institutional momentum of the past year in our efforts to sustain and continue to improve our Corps.  That said, no later than the New Year I will publish a "FragO" to the current CPG.

"Like war itself, our approach to warfighting must evolve"

As the Nation's crisis response force and force in readiness, Marines remain forward deployed, ready to fight and win tonight.  However, we cannot rest on our past successes and our current efforts because our nation's enemies are continuously adapting and challenging us with new and different forms of warfare.  We must continue to improve our readiness for todays fight, while at the same time ensuring we remain relevant for the conflicts we know will come in the future.  As Marines have always done, we will continue to seek new opportunities and develop solutions that maintain an overwhelming tactical advantage over any adversary.  We must know how we will operationally apply our capabilities against our adversaries, but also study and be aware of how they will apply their capabilities against us.

"For the strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack"

Our strength is the talent, skill and discipline of our Marines and Sailors. Today, we are a ready and capable Corps of Marines because of patriotic Americans who are willing to step forward and accept the challenge of being a Marine in order to serve our Nation.  Since our friendly center of gravity is our "Team of Marines," it is appropriate to begin our tenure by communicating clear expectations for leaders and those they serve.

"The senior is obligated to provide the guidance and the example that allows subordinates to exercise proper judgment and initiative."  This includes providing a clear mission and intent.  What to do, not how to do it. What Marines should expect from leaders:

-- Firm but fair leadership.  Marines and Sailors will be treated with dignity and respect.

-- Accountability.  All Marines will be held to the highest standards of conduct and performance.

-- Leadership from the front.  Leaders will set the highest examples in their professional and personal life.

-- Realistic and challenging training.  We will train hard in every clime and place, day and night.

-- Weapons and equipment that is on the cutting edge of technology. Marines must quickly recognize and leverage technology to make us better warfighters.

-- Opportunities for advancement.  All Marines will be recognized for a high level of performance.

-- Care and support for families and our wounded.  Both are critical members of the Marine Corps team and have earned our support.

-- Honesty, Integrity, and Loyalty.  Trust is a two-way street.  Listen to and take care of Marines in your charge and they will take care of you.

-- Compassion.  All leaders will provide those in their charge sincere and concerned assistance with problems.

"The subordinate agrees to act (with discipline, respect and loyalty) and not exceed the proper limits of authority"

What leaders should expect from Marines:

-- Always give 100% to the mission.  Bring your "A" game every day.

-- Be technically and tactically proficient.  Learn, study, read, know your profession.

-- Be physically, morally, and mentally fit.  Lead a healthy and disciplined life style.  Condition your mind and body for the rigors of combat.  Use of illegal drugs and abuse of legal drugs and alcohol are not conducive to this goal.

-- Be accountable for your actions.  If you make a mistake, admit it, correct it, and press on.

-- Care for and maintain your weapons and equipment.  Readiness depends on it.

-- Overcome adversity and exercise initiative.  Seek solutions and never run away from problems.

-- Tell the truth - ALWAYS!  Bad news does not get better with time.

Things cannot be fixed if they are not talked about.

-- Set goals and then strive to achieve them.  Have a plan for your life whether you serve 4 or 40 years.

-- Earn trust in all things, every day.  Be loyal to your unit, your peers, your subordinates, and your leaders.

"Human will, instilled through leadership, is the driving force of all action in war."

Being a Marine is not a job but a way of life.  Give your all to be the best human being, teammate and Marine or Sailor possible.  The end result will be an unbeatable force ready to take on any mission, any place, and any time. When we do execute our missions and our lives in this way, we will take our proper place alongside the long line of Marines and Sailors who have preceded us.  Let's go!

Semper Fidelis,

Robert B. Neller

General, U.S. Marine Corps

Commandant of the Marine Corps