MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Marine Corps Recruiting Command welcomed its new commanding general Tuesday after Brig. Gen. Joseph L. Osterman took the reins from Maj. Gen. Ronald L. Bailey during a change of command ceremony at the Clubs at Quantico.
Major Gen. Bailey had served as MCRC’s commanding general since Jan. 3, 2011.
Brigadier Gen. Osterman previously served as assistant division commander and commanding general of the 1st Marine Division (Forward).
Over the past six months, Maj. Gen. Bailey oversaw two major commands, serving as the commanding general of MCRC and the Western Recruiting Region. Major Gen. Bailey said in reference to heading commands on opposite coasts, “It was an easier transition because of you.”
In his short time in command, Maj. Gen. Bailey made great strides in increasing the diversity of Marine officer accession - a mission given to the command by the commandant.
Under Maj. Gen. Bailey’s direction, MCRC unveiled a new initiative, the All Community Approach. The All Community Approach seeks to improve connectedness at the tactical level so recruiting station commanding officers and officer selection officers (OSO) have greater access to community influencers and leaders who are best positioned to assist them in their engagement efforts. Major Gen. Bailey’s All Community Approach consisted of three elements or areas of operation. The first consisted of shaping activities prior to an event (e.g. OSOs’ on-campus engagement of college/university students and officials who are slated to participate in an upcoming event, such as the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s basketball tournament). The second element of the All Community Approach is the aggressive exploitation of all engagement opportunities at an event site (e.g. ad placements, media engagements, participant award presentations, speaking engagements or presences at event dinners/happenings, manning recruiter/OSO booths). The final element is the planned engagement of an event site’s surrounding community via the conduct of a Center of Influence (COI) event (i.e. luncheon or dinner) and scheduled activities with civic and community leadership, citizens and the media.
Marine Corps Recruiting Command evaluated this new approach in March during the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association’s basketball tournament in Charlotte, N.C. and in June during Marine Week St. Louis. New Orleans’ Bayou Classic in November will be MCRC’s next opportunity to implement and evaluate this approach.
The command also formed a partnership with the Junior Rank football camps. A result of the partnership is the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, which will be held Jan. 3, 2012 in conjunction with Fiesta Bowl Week in Phoenix, Ariz. The bowl game, which will be nationally televised, will be an East-West format game featuring the top 100 high school seniors that participated in Junior Rank camps throughout the year. Leadership, attitude, and teamwork are integral to both the United States Marine Corps and Junior Rank. As part of the camps, Marines from the local area lead physical training for the players and mentor them on leadership and discipline.
Major Gen. Bailey’s efforts yielded excellent results, with MCRC on pace to access its most diverse group of young officers in a decade.
There are 63 minority candidates at Officer Candidate School (OCS) who are eligible to access this year upon completion of OCS. By the end of fiscal year 2011, MCRC forecasts a total of 129 Hispanics (a ten year high in recruiting), 81 African Americans (a nine year high in recruiting), and 99 Marines of other minority descent to commission and start training at The Basic School during this fiscal year.
After serving in the recruiting arena, Major Gen. Bailey returns to the operating forces, where he will lead the Marines he recruited into battle. Major Gen. Bailey took command of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Friday.
“The [Marines in the operating forces] are doing fantastic because of the quality we are bringing in,” said Major Gen. Bailey.
The incoming commanding general echoed this sentiment, speaking from his recent experience as the commanding general of 1st Marine Division (Forward).
“The quality of individuals in our ranks today is phenomenal, especially our young non-commissioned officers,” said Brig. Gen. Osterman. “It speaks volumes to the efforts MCRC makes toward recruiting.”
Brigadier Gen. Osterman enters his new command no stranger to the recruiting world. He served as the commanding officer of Recruiting Station Albany, N.Y from 1996 to 1999.
As Brig. Gen. Osterman took the helm of MCRC, he pledged to carry on the success that has made the Marine Corps the best at recruiting of all the services in the country.
“I pledge to you, I’ll give 110 percent to reach the goals the commandant has outlined,” said Brig. Gen. Osterman.