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Thread: "Adopt a Marine"

  1. #1
    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    Default "Adopt a Marine"

    I have been kicking over a concept recently and wanted to float it here. The catalyst for my idea is that many historical military cultures I have studied had some form of (outright or culturally subtler) mentoring program that enabled the junior soldier to directly learn from the senior, more experienced soldier.

    My idea is that a program is instituted by where, as a form of PME or some other incentive, (for both junior and senior ranks) SNCOs and senior officers are encouraged to "adopt" a junior Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine. (E-4+/NCO+ makes sense to me from a career development standpoint) SNCO's take NCO's under their wing and senior officers take junior officers. "Adoptions" have to be between service members who are not in the same unit (or at least the same direct chain of command) but who are both in parallel fields. The senior service member is responsible for mentoring and aiding in the development of the younger one, both professionally and personally but are still far enough removed from the chain to maintain order and prevent fraternization. What I am envisioning is nowhere near as touchie feelie as it is sounding here and would ask senior warriors to plan, prepare and teach modules based off their own knowledge set or experiences. The plan and prepare part would include using things such as Photoshop to put visuals together, Powerpoint to present lectures, and various Word programs to communicate concepts. Sergeants Major can approve or in effect "grade" programs from their E-6+ population and I am sure there are some Colonels and General grade officers who would love to see what their staffs put together for the junior officers. I know we have SNCO's who are NOT that hot on the computer and this would give them a huge incentive to improve on their communications skills and give them even more experience for the civilian sector when they retire.

    I understand that there is a huge disparity between the number or E-9's we have in comparison to E-4's and similarly 0-9's to 0-2's but this would not be a program for everyone. For those who are inclined to teach, teach and those who really want to learn will. There could be a standard that quantifies and qualifies the mentor-ship and incentives for promotion or pay can be offered accordingly.

    The end state, as I see it is that we obviously end up with more knowledgeable, more professional NCO's who feel accountable for their development and will not need to reinvent the wheel throughout their 20 but also that some of the innate tricks the younger set has might rub off on the those who really do know the art of waging war. In the end I think it would be a very fair trade.

    Thoughts from higher?
    Last edited by Ender; 04-05-2007 at 02:58 AM.

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    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    There is another catalyst for the question presented here that I did not mention above. In the Marines there were a few select SNCO's that I came into contact with who had forgotten more about the conduct of warfare than I would ever know. These guys were the old school 0321's who had learned their trade directly from the guys who served in Korea and Vietnam. I wanted to sit down and politely and professionally pick their brains. I wanted to learn from their mistakes and capitalize on their successes but the rank system prevented me from being able to break through and ask the questions that I wanted and also would have prevented them from answering the way they would have wanted. I see this as counterintuitive and counterproductive. Why should a young Marine have to wait for Master Guns to retire and write his memoirs so he can learn about his career when he has the primary source, unedited RIGHT there? Some things are rank specific and would not need to be covered under a mentor program because the Marines, and I am sure all others as well, do an excellent job of progressively training and pushing PME's... but there is more than that, there are intangibles that aren't put in the pubs that could be communicated one on one.

    At the end of a mentor tour (imagine three years at home, with your wife and kids and outside of your normal job your sole purpose for existing is to take this Marine under your wing and teach him what you know.) success is measured by completion, and both sides would be required to submit final summaries of their lessons learned etc... SNCO/NCO symposiums and the like could collate and present the cumulative data annually or publish biannual reports and everyone all around would have a (hopefully better) idea of what areas need focus or attention in the next year. eg: "Seven out of ten Segeants are asking about circumstance such and such, why aren't we addressing this?"

    Imagine a scenario: Gunny Jones from 1/8 is assigned Corporal Smith from 2/8 under the newly formed Military Mentorship Program(MMP), which serves as an umbrella for the MMPA, (Army ) MMPMC (Marine Corps) etc.... Both are 03's and Smith just re-enlisted so he is now eligible for MMPMC and all of the corresponding benefits and Gunny gets a gold star in his record and is now given higher consideration for E-8. Imagine what can be communicated over PT, "If you are ever in the Phillipines watch out for the (insert specific, localized piece of knowledge here)" or in the woods, implementing counter sniper tactics "This one I picked up on a training op in (insert "wooden" nation the NCO has never seen) from the local (insert instructive indig culture here)." Corporal Smith is then required under the program to submit his weekly review, which in turn can be checked on by his platoon sergeant or Gunny himself. I won't go on but I think the benefits COULD be tremendous...

    I can see why some Platoon Sergeants or Battalion Commanders would not want someone messing with their Marines but there is a certain strength to working with someone who does not know if you are a ####bag or are ####hot... there is no history and as long as respect and discipline is maintained there should be no consequences, only benefits.

    If this concept is malformed, half-baked, premature or immature I would like to hear about it... I have wondered what lines exist and how much could feasibly be communicated between senior and subordinate in the interests of the individual Marines' development and can't imagine a better forum to ask in.
    Last edited by Ender; 04-05-2007 at 02:56 AM.

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    You're tracking in the right direction. I don't follow what is going on with it now, but i thought there was some mentoring initiative pushed in the Marine Corps as recent as a couple years ago.

    I also don't know if it got off the ground, but there may be a framework around somewhere that needs to be dusted off.

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    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    Default Warrior undergrad

    In my History "Lite" course there is a format that is used that I think could be useful here with my little brain child. The class is huge (100+) so the prospect of many tests and lots of quizzes are not as feasible as they would be in a class of 20. A method the professors use (it is co-taught) to ensure that students are attending class and paying attention is something they call "Signs of Life." I don't know if anyone here has heard of this or something like it but they basically present a question on the internet system we have for school (Blackboard) sometime after the first lecture of the week. Every student is required to check in (from wherever they choose, wherever they have internet access) by 11:00 PM every Saturday of that week and show some "Sign of Life." If they did not attend they won't know what the hell they are talking about and won't receive credit. If they are not paying attention same thing...

    Where I am going with this is, how much time in the week do your Marines spend watching porn, or stupid movies? How much time do your Marines spend reading Maxim or Hustler? Why not fill that time requiring them to learn about Salamis or the United States government under a mentorship? Why can't we put their asses to work? If every week a Marine was required to spend one hour of his libo time writing his notes on what he learned from his "War Dad" and submitting them he would be a much more well rounded and educated Marine when he is finished. I know colleges would respect their SMART transcripts a great deal more if they could say "Look pal, I wrote a freakin paper every week for four years... I dont need to take this Comp Class" and if helping that young Marine for a period of time only enables him to skip four stupid classes and save $3,000 on their education it would be well worth the time and energy invested.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    The apprentice and mentors model is fairly mature as a model. It was abandoned in the 50's and 60's as the rise of academia eclipsed and obliterated any other model.

    Socrates was a mentor rather than a teacher and his students were literally apprentices to his process. One mentor in this model can take on several apprentices and broaden the scope and match a hierarchical command structure. The apprentice/mentor model is NOT something you want to apply to everybody. You have to be selective in both directions of selection.

    If you're an undergrad it might be a little soon to be building a self standing curriculum but I'll help you with an outcome based learning objective course model when you're ready.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    You're tracking in the right direction. I don't follow what is going on with it now, but i thought there was some mentoring initiative pushed in the Marine Corps as recent as a couple years ago.

    I also don't know if it got off the ground, but there may be a framework around somewhere that needs to be dusted off.
    We got a bit of the Marine Corps Mentoring Program pushed to us early in TBS (this year) (Lt. Col Shusko of the MACE was selling it wholeheartedly), and I have the guidebook from Nov 05 sitting in my stack of pubs. However, it is aimed more at personal traits and characteristics (leadership, honor courage commitment; personal finances) than warfighting topics.

    It doesn't seem to be taken seriously, though, since I haven't heard squat about it since the second week of TBS, and the priors treated it as a bit of a joke, so I figure it hasn't really taken hold in the fleet.

    Still, it is a framework, and one that is still pushed to junior officers in some limited manner.
    Last edited by mmx1; 04-05-2007 at 06:41 PM.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default Mentoring in the Information Age

    Hi Ender,

    Interesting idea, and its lack seems to go hand in hand with the decline of the regimental system (comments Steve?).

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    The apprentice and mentors model is fairly mature as a model. It was abandoned in the 50's and 60's as the rise of academia eclipsed and obliterated any other model.
    As a formal model, I suspect you are absolutely correct, although it is still operative in many other areas including academia . A lot of it goes back to how organizations conceive of knowledge, and to the conceptual distinctions and valuations these organizations place on differing types of knowledge.

    In general, most Western societies recognize three overall forms of knowledge: "logos", "gnosis" and "thumos" (I'm using the Greek terms).
    1. "Logos", from which we get the suffix "-ology" roughly translates as "authoritative word". This is the basic type of knowledge that is taught in academia; it is codified, put together into inter-linking systems and presented as "valid" (meaning culturally validated by whatever system the culture uses). If you have studied Max Weber, it covers both "rational-legal knowledge" and "traditional knowledge" (which is actually a bad translation of herreschaft - "blood right" is better).
    2. "Gnosis", from which we get words like "Gnostic" and "Agnostic" roughly translates as "experiential knowledge" - "what I know from having experienced it". When Socrates talks about "the man who knows", this is the type of knowledge he is talking about. At the same time, it's also the type of knowledge that can be "taught" best by a mentorship or apprenticeship type program. In general, academics use this type of knowledge, but most disciplines "hide" it from their students (Anthropology, qualitative Sociology and Social Work are the major exceptions).
    3. "Thumos" is the type of knowledge that we use the least n any formal setting. It should properly be transliterated as "body knowledge", although terms like "gut knowledge" are the closest translation. In most Western societies, it is considered to be "invalid", although it is used extensively in high risk / high problem occupations and frequently"validated" (i.e. justified) with reference to experience or intuition.
    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    Socrates was a mentor rather than a teacher and his students were literally apprentices to his process. One mentor in this model can take on several apprentices and broaden the scope and match a hierarchical command structure. The apprentice/mentor model is NOT something you want to apply to everybody. You have to be selective in both directions of selection.
    I must admit to being prejudiced in favour of Socrates - that's Xenophon's Socrates, not Platos' . You absolutely right about the application, however. Attempting to apply this style of teaching and learning means that you have to have an emotional and psychological "mesh" (or "empathy") between the student and teacher. If this is absent, it will fail miserably.

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    If you're an undergrad it might be a little soon to be building a self standing curriculum but I'll help you with an outcome based learning objective course model when you're ready.
    Sure, I'll toss in an offer of help as well. I run a couple of servers and have my own Moodle site. If you want to play around with trying to set up a course, let me know and I'll build a basic page for you and let you play with it.

    As a note, I would point out that the SWC itself is acting as a mentorship venue.

    Marc
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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    This is a little off base but the civilian world does a good job of adopting soldiers to help meet their needs and for moral support. For example, the "Adopt a Sniper" is one of my favorites.

    http://americansnipers.org/

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    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Hey Culpeper !

    Admittedly, I immediately expressed interest in adopting a sniper

    Sadly, the site seems to be into gathering funds. But for whom ?

    Please donate as much as you can. Our fighting force can use your help. We thank you in advance for your generosity!
    ALL FUNDS and GEAR will be used to support the snipers that are in need of our help. Individuals and companies have chosen to help support forward deployed snipers, our brothers in arms, by supplying them with items they need to get the job done and generally making their lives easier while on deployment.

    This has been everything from the basic hygiene type items such as handy wipes to tactical products such as holsters, high speed rucksacks, new optics, rifle accessories, to and mini binoculars and batteries. These are just examples of what we are providing our brothers in the fight. Of course, this all takes money from individuals as well as products donated by dedicated companies or sold to us at reduced prices.
    Last edited by Stan; 04-06-2007 at 01:10 PM.

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Hey Culpeper !

    Admittedly, I immediately expressed interest in adopting a sniper

    Sadly, the site seems to be into gathering funds. But for whom ?
    http://americansnipers.org/faq.html

    They used to be under a different name (url) since the last time I visited the website. Perhaps the faq page can answer some of your questions. The organization has gone through some growing pains since my last visit to the site.

    Also, the home page has a link to a forum. You can address any questions there or use their contact link for additional info and so forth.
    Last edited by Culpeper; 04-06-2007 at 01:54 PM. Reason: added content

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    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    Default Love the Adopt a Sniper program...

    This is a totally different focus but the "Adopt a Sniper" program is no joke and it REALLY helps.

    We had a team leader in my platoon who wrote to them and they sent so MUCH gear to him (had to be upwards of $500-1000 worth of kit, two HUGE boxes).... if I remember right all of the optics and cleaning kits came right before Al Fajr and the rest came after... I still have a ton of my gear (hell I had to pay for most of it... I should get to keep it) and a few of the items I still use came from them!

    If you are considering whether or not this is a good thing or not, let me tell you they helped us considerably and really seem to be dialed in on what the troops need. I don't remember the specifics and have not looked at the link yet, (headed to class) but if someone is trying to OBTAIN gear from this program they need to either be an 8541, or the equivalent thereof, OR know someone who is and is willing to write. We had two 8541's and were able to get enough kit to spread between the four team leaders (and then on down to the four teams - everyone got something!)

    NOT a BAD deal.
    Last edited by Ender; 04-06-2007 at 02:23 PM.

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ender View Post
    This is a totally different focus but the "Adopt a Sniper" program is no joke and it REALLY helps.

    We had a team leader in my platoon who wrote to them and they sent so MUCH gear to him (had to be upwards of $500-1000 worth of kit, two HUGE boxes).... if I remember right all of the optics and cleaning kits came right before Al Fajr and the rest came after... I still have a ton of my gear (hell I had to pay for most of it... I should get to keep it) and a few of the items I still use came from them!

    If you are considering whether or not this is a good thing or not, let me tell you they helped us considerably and really seem to be dialed in on what the troops need. I don't remember the specifics and have not looked at the link yet, (headed to class) but if someone is trying to OBTAIN gear from this program they need to either be an 8541, or the equivalent thereof, OR know someone who is and is willing to write. We had two 8541's and were able to get enough kit to spread between the four team leaders (and then on down to the four teams - everyone got something!)

    NOT a BAD deal.
    I didn't mean to hijack your thread but while reading your first post the first that thing that came to my mind was that program. Thanks for posting some results they are getting in the field.

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    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    I didn't mean to hijack your thread but while reading your first post the first that thing that came to my mind was that program. Thanks for posting some results they are getting in the field.
    Not at all! Every little bit is a contribution and I have gotten so many ideas from other quarters, in this thread, that I hardly consider it my own. I for one had corollary thoughts, on this subject from your post so it is all to the good.

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    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    If you're an undergrad it might be a little soon to be building a self standing curriculum but I'll help you with an outcome based learning objective course model when you're ready.
    Sam,
    I would love your help on something like this. I am an undergrad and may not have "need" for a model quite yet but I think it would be highly instructive for me and I could always come back and dust the template or work in progress off should I find a ready application.... I don't know if I am ready,(you tell me, what am I getting into lol?) but I do have the time and I definitely have the interest so....

    Quote Originally Posted by mmx1 View Post
    We got a bit of the Marine Corps Mentoring Program pushed to us early in TBS (this year) (Lt. Col Shusko of the MACE was selling it wholeheartedly), and I have the guidebook from Nov 05 sitting in my stack of pubs. However, it is aimed more at personal traits and characteristics (leadership, honor courage commitment; personal finances) than warfighting topics.
    It doesn't seem to be taken seriously, though, since I haven't heard squat about it since the second week of TBS, and the priors treated it as a bit of a joke, so I figure it hasn't really taken hold in the fleet.

    Still, it is a framework, and one that is still pushed to junior officers in some limited manner.
    mmx1,
    I twice overheard my First Sergeant asking my Platoon Sergeant, a Gunny, about the status of the mentorship process between him and us, the team leaders. That same Gunny was constantly pushing mentorship on us in relation to our teams. I wonder how much of their inspiration came from something like what you mention here... basically a program that never got off the ground.

    For what it is worth I can not measure how successful I, or any of the other team leaders were in the mentorship of our teams, but I can say to A MAN that our Gunny was EXTREMELY effective in mentoring us. He knew a lot and he taught it all, I owe so much to him. He didn't have to answer the questions the way he did, he didn't have to be so descriptive or explanatory but he drew a connection between his experiences and our pressing need to learn from them. I owe a great deal to many but I owe everything to this man. Ideally if I could I would want to duplicate this experience throughout the entire Corps and the DoD if I can only because I KNOW how much it helped and still helps me today.

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    Sure, I'll toss in an offer of help as well. I run a couple of servers and have my own Moodle site. If you want to play around with trying to set up a course, let me know and I'll build a basic page for you and let you play with it.
    Marc,
    That would be incredible! I would love to pursue this but have to admit that this is a new direction for me so the terminology and the basic processes may be foreign... but I learn quickly and I would work my ass off to put something viable together. I have been looking over the Marine sites and some of the Army Knowledge stuff and I am beginning to think that I may not need to invent a new wheel, but rather incorporate a new angle into systems that are already in place.

    My two biggest questions are what should the OVERALL focus be and specifically what should the material include? Some suggestions I have:

    A. An overall emphasis on the "No better friend, no worse enemy concept."

    1. Half of the site or program is devoted to the "Friend" concept and would include a:
    a. Focus on the United States of America and all things related- This includes enabling the service member to have a working knowledge of where he comes from, how we became who we are today and what makes our system different from say Marxism for instance.
    b.Focus on Social Sciences- (Psych, Soc, Anthro etc...) These subjects are highly instructive on human behavior and go a long way in explaining similarities and differences and many of the "Whys?" we ask in a day.
    c. Focus on Current Events and Cultural Awareness- Study three regions for X number of months, use no outright American sources and analyze their relative trends and tendencies and then tie it into the....
    d.Focus on "History" - which provides a foundation for everything we see and do now.

    The softer side of the program will attempt to fill in the blanks that home, high school, college, and general purpose life may not have provided.

    [In essence, if this idea is starting to sound like a BA, it is not an accident, I foresee a program where a service member can earn a BA in military arts if they work hard enough... and I don't mean in their off time or when they are not deployed... I mean as part of their formal training process.]

    2. The other half is geared towards the "Enemy" concept and would include:
    a. Studies in historical battles - A module might include 20 pivotal battles (ranging progressively from smaller unit sized skirmishes to larger) and would entail having a 3-D "battle board" that is as accurate as possible, (similar to what are used for floor sized war games, or comparable to the "puff board" they have in CAS simulators... but not as large) and also physical, tangible "troops" that can be manipulated by the student. The lesson will take them through and step by step show moves and countermoves, what went right and what went wrong, what could be done differently, and would ask questions such as “What would you do differently? What would you do similarly? How would you deal with threat such and such given circumstance yada yada?" I know a number of guys who would give body parts to be able to actually witness Gettysburg (and *shudder* learn from it by osmosis whether they like it or not) but who would never pick up a ten page book on the subject. (I know the academies incorporate methods similar to this in some of their classes and would appreciate any insight or experiences from anyone connecting this to that.)
    b. Increased focus in threat weapons and tactics- to include Dis. & Ass, live fire and implementation training (how they use it, with hands-on demonstrations in reconstructed enemy positions). eg: How an RPG-7 and an AT-4 are similar and how they are different and what that means in application to you on the battlefield. (Pubs are great but with the millions of AK's, RPK's, RPG's out there I don't see why every combat arms service member (AT LEAST) shouldn't be able to not only tell you everything inside and out about the enemies capabilities and liabilities but also show you… (See at this range, the groups are larger…so at X yards you are relatively safer from threat Y.) We can tell you 50 differences between the M16A1 and the M16A2 or the Glock 17 and the 19 (two very similar examples) but when it comes to the fundamental differences between an RPK and an AK (two completely different examples) "we" (hunters, NRA members, and all Marines over E-6 relax, I am not talking about you guys!) can only come up with a couple. This is unacceptable, we should know their weapons only slightly less than we know our own.
    c. Studies on every single terrorist organization and rogue nation on the State Department or CIA’s hit list- I bet you if I had fifty guesses I could pick who our next attack or war would come from. This sounds like a no-brainer, and I am sure given fifty choices we all would be right but that is my point exactly, we KNOW where the main threats are, I mean over the last 20 some odd years we have been responding to the “Usual Suspects” and this is unlikely to change. Why do we wait until our usual enemy "#5" is pegging our fun meter to say "Let’s go kick some ass… and by the way start teaching the troops about #5 RIGHT AWAY!” This is bull####. Every E-5+ in the service should be able to tell you the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas and not have to receive a crash course two days out the next time we deploy into or just off the coast of Lebanon. We need to fix this and there is no excuse for the intel bubbas and the O's to be the only ones who know this stuff.

    What I envision is not so much read this, write about that but more learn the theory from a series of case studies (from psychology, or American history, military history etc…) and then apply it in hand’s on exercises (How would you move your machine gun, weapons platoon, battalion etc? Ok show me…) that are reinforced with a “written” project that is submitted for "credit"- towards promotion for example. I like the dichotomy of friends and enemies and think that a system designed as such would be extremely flexible and therefore extremely palatable to both the civilian and martial sectors....
    Last edited by Ender; 04-06-2007 at 10:33 PM.

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    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    As a note, I would point out that the SWC itself is acting as a mentorship venue.
    This is a truth that has not escaped me! I am like a kid in a candy store on here and can not imagine any other situation on the planet that would put me in such close proximity with so many great civil and military minds. This concept actually ties in nicely with where I want to go next with this too:

    ON SWC, I have noticed that there are a number of professors, teachers, academics, SNCO’s, officers, diplomats, and all other brands and flavors of government employment. The total sum of experience shared on this site would have to add up into the millennia and I am not ignorant of the fact that many of the concepts I am wrestling with now have been kicked over before by some of the very minds I speak of now. So in the attempt at trying to come up with a solid mentorship plan for the military (at least on paper) and also wanting to groom and be groomed into an effective future leader I ask these questions of everyone here.

    -If you had to build tomorrow’s “super soldier,” how would you do it? Tomorrow’s "super spy?"
    -If you had to rebuild your own education, or career path how would you do it?
    -What subjects do you feel are critical for tomorrow’s military leader? What classes did you take or subjects did you study that are considered as "irreplaceable" for your development?
    - What formative books, games, movies etc… were influential in shaping your ideas and thoughts from childhood, to early adulthood to now?
    -If you had to pick 10 historical battles to share with your troops what would they be and why?
    -If you wanted to develop solid well-rounded civil leaders what areas would you want them to have a mastery of?

    I am very curious to hear some of the concepts that you all feel are crucial and look forward to being blown away. Aside from that and more practically, I feel that a lot of what you have to offer could help me distill some of the more erratic (but still substantive) thoughts I have racing around into a cogent argument for a “mentorship program" that is not half-baked.

    Even if this entire thing is simply an exercise in thought and Headquarters Marines Corps never adopts the Ender Method I will still have learned a great deal by trying to iron it all out so any insight or contribution is strongly welcomed!!

    Joel
    Last edited by Ender; 04-07-2007 at 01:22 AM.

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Joel,

    Well, since you want a dissertation.....

    Anyway, I'm tied up until tomorrow morning, so will take a stab at some of your questions, etc., then. I'l also toss up a course site for you to play with then. 'till tomorrow,

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    Default Thank you sir.

    No rush Marc!
    Last edited by Ender; 04-06-2007 at 10:40 PM.

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    Default Is there a difference between mentorship and leadership?

    http://www.mca-marines.org/forum/showthread.php?t=6

    Joel,

    Let me say up front that I commend you for your energy and more importantly for wanting to embrace the fact that our young Marines are a hell of a lot more capable than we often give them credit for. That said, I think your ambitions are too high for the time being. I say this because of the way that we currently approach developing our leaders (see link above). We use "strategic corporal" as if it were a fact, but in reality, as you've repeatedly stated in numerous posts at SWC, it's a lot of lip service with little training to back the concept. The specifics of your initiative would put some meat to the term "strategic corporal" and I encourage you to continue your efforts toward this end. Further, when at the 70-80% solution, write an article for the Marine Corps Gazette. Most every General Officer in our Corps reads the Gazette and will most definitely take on board what you have to say.

    Unfortunately, at the present time we do have a mentor program, as mentioned by the TBS Lt. Problem is that it's not fully embraced across the Corps, at all levels of leadership. I ask if there's a difference between mentorship and leadership because, for me at least, a good leader is naturally a good mentor and will do many of the things that you describe such as identifying a Marine's strengths and weaknesses, goals, etc. and then develop a plan to take advantage of strengths and help weaknesses in such a way that helps the Marine accomplish his or her goal(s). Further, a good leader should also take a personal interest in developing a Marine's MIND through PME, such as ensuring that books on the CMC reading list for each rank are read and discussed, as well as additional assignments based on the current operating environment, etc. Additionally, leaders should frequently sit down with Marines, look them in the eyes, and explain expectations and have the moral courage to tell a Marine when these expectations aren't being met and when they are. Sadly, I've been in the Corps for 6 years now and have had only 1 senior sit me down, look me in the eye balls and do all this.

    For this reason I think your mentoring program should start with the very basic elements of leadership initially: talk to a Marine one-on-one, spell out goals, help develop a plan to achieve them, and then SUPERVISE. If this is done, much of what you talk about will be accomplished. For example, in counseling/mentoring/leading/emplace new buzzword of the day my Marines, I almost always heard Marines respond to the question: "what are your goals in the Corps?" with "to be the most technically proficient Marine in the squad or section, to be a PT stud, to be a team player, to reach the next rank, to start working toward a college degree, and on occasion, to become an officer." These were the norm. Now all a good leader has to do is lead the Marine that responds in these ways to the promise land. I don't think you need a Marine from another battalion to help. Plus, with optempo the way it is today, I'm not sure how many Marines from other units are around to help.

    Last thought... in your unit, through your own force of will and personal example, you can make a mentoring program the norm. I have no doubt in my mind that this is true. Now, finish school and get your ass to IOC so that a platoon of infantrymen can have the leader they deserve!
    Last edited by Maximus; 04-07-2007 at 02:51 AM.

  19. #19
    Council Member Ender's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
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    81

    Default Roger that...

    Aye aye SIR!

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