Candidates, this is a post in a series of leadership posts relating specifically to the Marine Corps Leadership traits–the most basic introduction to the Corps’ philosophies that you will learn about at OCS. Study the leadership traits and other lessons ahead of time on our academics page.
Bearing is the way you conduct and carry yourself. Your manner should reflect alertness, competence, confidence, and control.
An officer who exhibits bearing is one who is in total control of his emotions, posture, and general outward appearance. Discipline and self-respect are the keys to bearing. Since as the common Marine Corps phrase goes, “perception is reality,” some people will form an opinion of your qualities based only on shallow impressions. If you carry yourself with high standards and maintain a professional, officer-like, self-controlled demeanor, that perceived “reality” will not be harmed before you have a chance to make a second impression. One of the best examples of bearing in American military history is the personal conduct of General George Washington.
“Every action in the company of others ought to be done with some sign of respect to those present.”
Suggestions for Improvement
To develop bearing, you should hold yourself to the highest standards of personal conduct. Never be content with meeting only the minimum requirements.
See all leadership posts here, and check back often as there are many more to come!