Marine Maxims

Colonel Gordon informs us that “Leadership is easy. Being a leader is hard”, a comment that sets the tone for the book. Marine Maxims uses common sense rules and principles based on personal experiences to deliver a vicarious education. It is a very personal book the author uses to share success and shortcomings in equal measure to guide leaders of all ranks using fifty practical maxims that teach the art of enlightened and informed leadership. 

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The Debrief Series: William Ressler

On this day, I have the honor of interviewing William Ressler, a former Staff Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. He served in a niche of the marines that most people don’t think of, Parachute Rigging, specifically attached to some higher-level units. He is now a proud disabled veteran whose battle with mental health is a testament to his strong will and perseverance. In this interview, he holds nothing back as he expresses wisdom and has advice that everyone should take a moment to listen to. Everyone is fighting a battle and you may not be able to see it. This account may just give you a reality check.

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The Debrief Series: HM1 John Housinga

Today, I have the privilege of speaking with the HM1 John Housinga, an Independent Duty Corpsman serving with 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines. He acts as the enlisted medical provider for over 1,000 marines and sailors. He is also a sought-after subject matter expert, incredible mentor, and a dependable leader. Housinga sheds light on the reality of being a leader in today’s military, how he has recovered personally from failures, and provides guidance to the future leaders of our armed services.

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The Morality Conflict Series: Crisp Morning

The high-pitched droning began somewhat slowly, but swiftly climbed in intensity as he stiffened his back and widened his stride. Maybe it’s the coal mine down the road ramping up their stripping operations, he quickly ponders to himself, but they’ve never made that kind of noise before. Instantly, hurtling like an angel falling from heaven, he could see the massive 757 passenger airliner come twisting from the sky and clipping the tree line. The whistling of the air passing over the shaking wings produced a gut-wrenching shriek, which made Ryan’s heart drop.

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Oath of Enlistment – It’s Your Oath!

You’ve taken the Oath of Enlistment to the Constitution, and perhaps administered it, too.

When’s the last time you read the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, though? Your perspective on the meaning of those words changes over time. Revisit it now!

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Mars Learning: The Marine Corp’s Development of Small Wars Doctrine, 1915-1940

Keith B. Bickel challenges a host of military and strategic theories that treat particular bureaucratic structures, large organizations, and elites as the progenitors of doctrine. This timely study of how the military draws lessons from interventions focuses on the overlooked role that mid-level combat officers play in creating military doctrine. Mars Learning closely evaluates Marine civil and military pacification operations in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Nicaragua, and illuminates the debates surrounding the development of Marine Corps’ small wars doctrine between 1915 and 1940.

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What It Is Like to Go to War

In 1968, at the age of twenty-three, Karl Marlantes was dropped into the highland jungle of Vietnam, an inexperienced lieutenant in command of forty Marines who would live or die by his decisions. In his thirteen-month tour he saw intense combat, killing the enemy and watching friends die. Marlantes survived, but like many of his brothers in arms, he has spent the last forty years dealing with his experiences.

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Leading Lessons – It’s Your Leadership

The leadership experience from the U.S. Navy prompted my Leading Lessons from multiple leaders, who missed one critical step as they tried passing on good leadership principles: first, know yourself, then know others. Leading Lessions – It’s Your Leadership highlights covers it.

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Mars Adapting: Military Change During War

Mars Adapting examines what makes some military organizations better at this contest than others. The book explores the internal institutional factors that promote and enable military adaptation. It employs four cases, drawing upon one from each of the U.S. armed services. Each case was an extensive campaign, with several cycles of action/counteraction. In each case, the military institution entered the war with an existing mental model of the war they expected to fight.

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