Equipping Our Strategic Corporal for 21st Century Warfare
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING (SAW)
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The notional Strategic Corporal as described by Gen. Krulak, is poorly recruited, insufficiently trained and educated, and marginally prepared to succeed under the present Marine Corps system. The Marine Corps continues to utilize outdated notions on recruitment, compensation, retention, training and education to meet the needs of future operations. Core Competencies to meet the needs of our combat leaders need to be identified and comprehensively integrated into our training programs. The current Individual Training Standards for Infantrymen are inadequate small unit leaders trained according to doctrinal standards are dangerously under-trained. Squads and platoons must be allocated the time to develop viable combat teamwork to succeed. The decentralization in the Three Block War requires the NCO to coordinate supporting arms, request medical assistance, and provide for his own sustainment. Decision-making is the most critical skill that needs to be addressed. Every opportunity should be provided for the small unit leader to employ judgment and have his decision evaluated. Only those individuals that show an aptitude for independent action and judgment should be promoted. Recruiting ought to reinforce the notion that the infantry squad leader faces more challenges and requires a higher quality applicant than historically has been recognized. The emphasis should start with raising the minimum QT to a level commensurate with complex decision-making. Individuals should be psychologically screened for aptitude in crisis management, leadership under duress, creative problem solving, and interpersonal skills. Relying on volunteers for the Infantry MOS will not fulfill its needs.
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