Marine Leader Development
Marine Leader Development (MLD) is a comprehensive approach to leadership development that seeks to foster development of all aspects of Marines’ personal and professional lives. It is neither a philosophy nor a program; rather, it is a framework to be used by Marines at all levels for themselves and subordinates. This framework is the six Functional Areas of Leadership Development: Fidelity, Fighter, Fitness, Family, Finance, and Future. By addressing each of these individual areas, MLD seeks to ensure the development of Marines – and thus a Corps – that is cohesive, tactically and technically proficient, guided by moral purpose, and able to execute the toughest challenges. MLD will be implemented in all Marine Corps commands, and will supersede the Marine Corps Mentoring Program (MCMP). Adopted from the Marine Corps University
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Effective coaching and counseling has a profound effect on Marines, units, the Corps. It is part of the inseparable bond between the leader and led at all levels. Coaching and Counseling is a process of two-way communication between senior and junior to help the junior achieve and maintain the highest possible level of performance.
Coaching is a process of on-going observation and encouragement of a Marine’s personal and professional growth:
- Part of daily operations
- Provides feedback on an informal basis
- Sets, documents, and communicates goals
- Focused on development
- NOT part of a Marine’s evaluation
MCO 1500.61 Marine Leader Development. Provides direct guidance and defines how all leaders should teach, coach, counsel, and mentor on a daily basis. Leadership is a privilege and it is imperative that leaders pass on their knowledge and experience to those they serve. The most effective leaders never miss a chance to teach and coach, approaching every interaction as an opportunity. This conversation between teachers and coaches, counsels and mentors should help the individual to improve performance and refine personal achievable goals. These interactions should foster a proactive mindset toward training and development thus building confidence between leader and led creating greater team cohesion.
MARADMIN 394/16 comes directly from the Commandant, who stresses the importance that Marine leaders at all levels perform counseling those under their charge as part of a regimen of engaged leadership. The Commandant makes clear that engaged leadership is “what sets Marines apart” from the other Services, and that is why all Marine leaders have a responsibility to their subordinates to “teach, coach, and mentor” the Marines under their charge.
The MARADMIN also highlights the importance of the leadership “team” – that is, although one leader may be responsible for ultimately writing performance evaluations, it takes an engaged team of leaders to ensure that proper counseling is completed; that all Marines have a planned and programmatic approach to their own development, which includes setting goals and achieving everything within his or her potential. Finally, echoing the wisdom of General Lejeune, MARADMIN 394/16 highlights the need of Marines to be developed holistically, and that development should touch every aspect of a Marine’s personal and professional life. As examples of this concept of holism, the MARDAMIN provides personal finance, civilian education opportunities, as well as the importance of ensuring that Marine families are well taken care of, and are apprised of all the services that they are entitled.
Leader Development Resources
Content in the Marine Leader Development Resource pages provide commanders and leaders practical tools and resources to assist in developing our Marines and Sailors personally and professionally through coaching, counseling, and mentoring, thereby sustaining the transformation.