Corps Crowns New Commandant – Must Refocus on Honor

Gen. James F. Amos  took over as commandant of the Marine Corps, ascending from his post as assistant commandant, also a four-star position

As white smoke billowed from the Pentagon, flyboy Amos outlined his vision for what is typically a four-year stint. Though there were no strokes of genius, Amos seemed to target the challenges the Corps is facing – and some are not related to operational tempo.

Amos has listed his top priority as training and equipping Marines for Afghanistan. He wants to improve unit cohesion. (Is there a problem here?) His top priority should be getting out of Afghanistan. The Corps has gleaned the skills it needs, but I guess he really can’t cut and run.

The 35th commandant of the Marine Corps wants to rebalance the Corps. This is interesting. He’s looking at increasing the capabilities of Marine special-forces units (Watch out Army!) and integrating them with other operational forces. (Watch out everyone! Hail Mary pass or defense domination?) He says he wants to reduce the size of the Marine Expeditionary Unit (which should not be too difficult). He wants greater emphasis on cyber warfare. (Watch out Air Force!) I am not so sure he has the money for the latter, and I don’t think he can recruit the man(brain)power necessary.

Amos has said the Corps must enhance its role as a “multi-capable combined arms force, comfortable operating at the high and low ends of the threat spectrum.” I thought it already had the market cornered in that area, but the Corps may be feeling the heat from what appears to be an ever-improving Army. It must continue to differentiate itself. Not that it will ever go away, but an uber-relevant force translates into end strength and bucks from the Hill.

And in the chicken-in-very-pot chapter, it has been reported Amos will refocus the Corps on values of “honor, courage and commitment. He wants to develop the Marine Corps University into a “world class institution,” (Hah!) and “improve the training and experience level of small maneuver unit leaders.”
Marines are not already focused on honor? What about all the money and yapping about Corps/Core Values? Failure? The Marine Corps University concept has been a debacle for decades and should be scrapped. The Marine Corps should accept this is not a core competency and put its money and energy elsewhere. Improve the training of small unit leaders? What has the Gun Club been doing all these years?

Is Amos brutally honest? Sounds like the Marine Corps has some major challenges and itself to blame.

Update: Now-former Commandant Gen. Jim “Not in my Corps” Conway  has retired. It is rumored he will be lobbying for the repeal of his former cause celeb, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”   Ok, not really.

Recent Posts