MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Marines from the Lejeune Leadership Institute were invited to Marine Corps Base Hawaii to present the recently developed Marine Corps Leadership Development Program to unit leaders from 3rd Marine Regiment, 3rd Radio Battalion, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 463 and 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment during two days of classes at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course Rocker Room, Nov. 25 and 26, 2013.
The Marines spent two days learning the program’s intent, focus, method, ways to implement and resources, both on base and through the Internet. The program’s development began in September 2012 and is intended to be a newer model of leadership for Marines.
Col. Scott Erdelatz, the director of Lejeune Leadership Institute, said the overall purpose of the MCLDP is to provide Marines additional tools to develop leaders.
“The program’s philosophy is directly linked to sustaining the transformation,” Erdelatz said. “It’s the practical application of principles articulated by the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos. He felt that this effort would be a better way to strengthen leadership culture then the mentoring program.”
Erdelatz explained the program’s purpose is to build upon the Marine Corps leadership and warfighting ethos, strengthen the commitment to develop Marines as quality citizens.
“The program is a highly proactive (versus) reactive approach to leadership,” Erdelatz said. “If a Marine is at risk or doing well, leaders still have an inherent responsibility to invest in their personal and professional development. The focus is on the person, not the problem.”
The intent of the program is for leaders to concentrate on building close, professional relationships with Marines, which is strengthened through regular coaching and training in personal and professional development.
1st Sgt. Daniel Heider, the first sergeant of Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, said the classes were “outstanding” and he wished he had this training when he was a young corporal.
“Everything affects a Marine’s proficiency,” Heider said. “Attitude can be adversely affected. The right leadership at the small unit level, like a strategic corporal, is there to influence, motivate and solve the problem. Proficiency broadens with coaching. Human interaction is key because the Marine Corps is a people and results-
Capt. Sarah Carrasco, the company commander of Alpha Company, 3rd Radio Bn., said that an invested leader never stops growing.
“A leader should never assume that they know everything,” Carrasco said. “Leaders take the time and care about Marines. Alpha Company has already carved out time for guidance sessions on Fridays. We do this not because we are told, but because we want to.”
Erdelatz said the program is still in development, but anticipates its implement Corpswide May of next year and some units have decided on early implementation.
“No one has the trademark on leadership,” Erdelatz said. “But investing in our people makes us an effective warfighting organization.”