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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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Virginia Commonwealth University students receive leadership lessons from Marines

By Cpl. David Flynn | Marine Corps Recruiting Command | March 19, 2013

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The Marine Corps Leadership Seminar delivered the Corps' message of opportunity to a diverse audience of college students at Virginia Commonwealth University, Mar. 15. Marine Corps Recruiting Command and the MCLS remain focused on achieving the commandant's vision of a Marine Corps reflective of American society.

The Marine Corps Leadership Seminar delivered the Corps' message of opportunity to a diverse audience of college students at Virginia Commonwealth University, Mar. 15. Marine Corps Recruiting Command and the MCLS remain focused on achieving the commandant's vision of a Marine Corps reflective of American society. (Photo by Cpl. David Flynn)


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Captain Michael R. Schulz, an academic instructor and Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., leads Virginia Commonwealth University students through a class on leadership decisions during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, Mar. 15.

Captain Michael R. Schulz, an academic instructor and Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., leads Virginia Commonwealth University students through a class on leadership decisions during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, Mar. 15. (Photo by Cpl. David Flynn)


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Captain Melissa A. DePriest, an academic instructor at Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., leads Virginia Commonwealth University students during team building exercises during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, Mar. 15.

Captain Melissa A. DePriest, an academic instructor at Officer Candidate School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., leads Virginia Commonwealth University students during team building exercises during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, Mar. 15. (Photo by Cpl. David Flynn)


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Colonel Robert C. Clement, director, Promotions Branch, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, speaks to students at Virginia Commonwealth University during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, Mar. 15. Clement shared lessons learned over his near 30 year career as a Marine officer.

Colonel Robert C. Clement, director, Promotions Branch, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, speaks to students at Virginia Commonwealth University during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, Mar. 15. Clement shared lessons learned over his near 30 year career as a Marine officer. (Photo by Cpl. David Flynn)


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Marine instructors from Officer Candidate School and The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., participate in a panel discussion during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar at Virginia Commonwealth University, Mar. 15. Students attending the MCLS had the opportunity to ask the officers any questions they had on leadership and their Marine Corps careers.

Marine instructors from Officer Candidate School and The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., participate in a panel discussion during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar at Virginia Commonwealth University, Mar. 15. Students attending the MCLS had the opportunity to ask the officers any questions they had on leadership and their Marine Corps careers. (Photo by Cpl. David Flynn)


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Dr. Kenneth D. Dunn, director, Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, delivers opening remarks during the MCLS at Virginia Commonwealth University's Snead School of Business, Mar. 15. The MCLS is a day-long seminar designed to teach Marine Corps leadership skills to the United States' next generation of leaders.

Dr. Kenneth D. Dunn, director, Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, delivers opening remarks during the MCLS at Virginia Commonwealth University's Snead School of Business, Mar. 15. The MCLS is a day-long seminar designed to teach Marine Corps leadership skills to the United States' next generation of leaders. (Photo by Cpl. David Flynn)


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Major Benjamin D. Sanders, commanding officer, Recruiting Station Richmond, Va., speaks to Virginia Commonwealth University students during the Marine Corps Leadership seminar, Mar. 15. Though the primary focus was on leadership development, interested students also had the opportunity to learn about careers in the Marine Corps.

Major Benjamin D. Sanders, commanding officer, Recruiting Station Richmond, Va., speaks to Virginia Commonwealth University students during the Marine Corps Leadership seminar, Mar. 15. Though the primary focus was on leadership development, interested students also had the opportunity to learn about careers in the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. David Flynn)


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RICHMOND, Va. -- Students from Virginia Commonwealth University had the opportunity to learn leadership skills from Marine officers during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar at VCU’s Snead School of Business, Mar. 15.

The MCLS is a one-day program designed to impart college students with Marine Corps leadership skills.

“The MCLS is a program that parallels with Marine Week,” said Dr. Kenneth D. Dunn, director, Marine Corps Leadership Seminar. “Our goal is to develop a connectedness with mainstream America and attract top talent to the Marine Corps, using Marine Corps leadership as the vessel.”

The MCLS featured a series of classes on leadership topics, team building exercises and a panel discussion where students had the chance to ask Marine officers questions. Leading the day’s activities were Marine officers currently serving as instructors at Officer Candidate School and The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

An important point stressed by instructors was making good leadership decisions in a timely manner. As told to the students, a good plan now is better than a perfect plan next week.

“Whether you’re on the battlefield or in the business world, the ability to analyze a situation and make a good decision faster than your opponent will make you successful,” said Capt. Michael R. Schulz, instructor, OCS.

To aid students in quickly analyzing variables and making sound decisions based on them, Schulz introduced the concept of the OODA Loop.

Developed by Air Force fighter pilot Col. John Boyd, the OODA Loop - Observation, Orientation, Decision, Action, is a battle-tested decision making tool that has proven successful not only in the military, but in the business world as well. For one VCU student at the MCLS, the OODA Loop put the decision making process in a perspective he hadn’t seen before.

“What was unique about the workshop was the way the Marines were able to objectify leadership and decision making into a systematic way of problem solving using the OODA Loop,” said Jeffrey Chow, 21, a computer science major from Virginia Beach, Va. “Using it you will be able to come up with solutions and adapt to changing circumstances faster than your opponent.”

While leadership and decision making lessons are important, according to Dunn, nothing can compare to the experiences gained by being a Marine officer.

“The Marine Corps gives Marines a work ethic, honesty, integrity and accountability,” said Dunn. “Most young people don’t get these traits straight out of college. The Marine Corps instills them very early on.”

The VCU administrator instrumental in bringing the MCLS to his school agreed with this sentiment.

“There is no question that successful prior military experience is beneficial to a career in the private sector,” said Mike Eisenman, director, career services, Snead School of Business and a former Navy officer. “Almost everything said today that is relevant to the Marine Corps is relevant to the corporate world as well.”

In closing, students at the MCLS heard from Col. Robert C. Clement. Clement, an enlisted Marine before earning his commission, shared lessons learned during his near 30 years in service.

“Take care of your people and they will take care of you,” said Clement, in summation of the wealth of experience he has accrued in his career.

Looking ahead, the MCLS will be making stops at several universities in the Raleigh-Durham, N.C. area in April. Seminars will be held at the Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy and North Carolina State University in Raleigh, Apr. 11, at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Apr. 12, and North Carolina Central University in Durham, Apr. 12.

For more information on leadership opportunities available in the Marine Corps, go to www.MarineOfficer.com or call 1-800-MARINES.
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