Spirituality in the Marine Corps
MARINE CORPS COMMAND AND STAFF COLL QUANTICO VA
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In his address at Trinity College in June of 1941, General George C. Marshall warned, The soldiers heart, the soldiers spirit, the soldiers soul are everything. Unless the soldiers soul sustains him, he cannot be relied on and will fail himself and his command and his country in the end. The Marine Corps stresses the physical, mental, and spiritual development of Marines. Required training ensures that Marines are tested physically and mentally, but rarely are Marines challenged to develop their spiritual foundation. In the absence of formal training, the commander alone bears the responsibility to ensure his Marines are attending to their spiritual needs. Commanders must be more proactive in their task of facilitating religion, which is the foundation for true spirituality. Few commanders would openly deny the importance of spirituality. This viewpoint, however, has not led to proactive actions to change the climate to one in which spiritual growth is not simply tolerated, but actually encouraged. Because of the contribution of spirituality, not only in the lives of individual Marines, but also towards mission accomplishment, commanders must do more to facilitate spiritual growth at all echelons within their command.
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