Educators and Key Leaders Workshop Highlights Insight, Education, Experience
By Lance Cpl. Jessica Quezada
| Marine Corps Recruiting Command | June 27, 2014
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
Educators and key influencers from an array of colleges and universities across the Western United States attended the Marine Corps Recruiting Command’s Educators and Key Leaders Workshop here this week to discover the vast traits and career opportunities the Marine Corps offers, specifically geared toward officer commissioning programs.
The workshop provides an inside look at the Marine officer lifestyle and exhibits the types of training Marine officer prospects go through to escalate physical, moral and intellectual capabilities in order to benefit Marines in any clime and place.
The week began at the Officer Candidates School where candidates are rigorously screened through training that focuses on excellence in leadership, academics, and physical training. Workshop guests conducted a Leadership Reaction Course that pushed them to think quickly and thoroughly, and learn by trial and error. Many of these guests have never encountered these types of obstacles in the civilian world.
Following the visit to OCS, retired Marine Lt. Col. Joseph C. Shusko, Deputy Director, Marine Corps Martial Arts Center of Excellence, explained elements of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program as it relates to ethical and moral leadership. Additionally, he reinforced the fact that although they are known for their combative nature, Marines hold firm to the core values of honor, courage and commitment in every situation.
To conclude the first day of the workshop, Marines and guests traveled to the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, VA., where The United States Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, The Marine Corps Battle Color Detachment, and the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon perform at the Sunset Parade. Guests left the parade in awe looking forward to events of the upcoming days.
Day two began with an informational brief on Marine commissioning programs available for students as well as a presentation from the Marine Corps University about the opportunities for continued education through the Marine Corps.
Guests then received their first flying experience in an MV-22 Osprey, and toured the prestigious Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1). Marines from HMX-1 are responsible for the transportation of the President of the United States and other important personnel in local and overseas locations. The unique flight experience and interaction with HMX-1 Marines gives insight into another career opportunity the Corps offers.
One of the event highlights was a visit to The Basic School, where guests conducted immersive practical application of infantry squad tactics and ethical decision-making.
Newly commissioned officers arrive at TBS upon completion of OCS to be trained to lead as provisional infantry platoon commanders in the operational forces. Guests learned basic fire team maneuvers, combat lifesaving skills and patrolling at TBS. During the patrol, guests acted as squad leaders during an ambush in enemy territory. This forced the squad leaders to react and utilize quick decision making skills in order to complete their mission. Following the patrol, TBS instructors discussed what guests can take back to their communities and how firm decisions, effective reactions and thorough leadership can be useful in our evolving society.
“I just got a snapshot of what our Marines go through,” said Jim Fitzgerald, assistant athletic director for student success at Eastern Washington University, who was chosen squad leader of his patrol. “I think a lot of these components can be taken and shown to our student athletes -- I’m learning something every day. That you have to be on all the time and there’s an expectation. You guys are a team; we have teams. Do not leave anybody behind. If somebody goes down, you’re the next person up. I think there are a lot of parallel themes that we can use and that’s why I’m here.”
Throughout the week, the workshop highlighted the present-day training and education Marines receive to be successful warfighters and service members to our nation. To end the week, guests toured the National Museum of the Marine Corps and visually experienced Corps history and the legacy Marines are expected to uphold in future generations.
“They get to see a little bit more than what they know superficially,” said Capt. Bryce Biskup, officer selection officer of Spokane, Wash. “They probably come in with preconceived notions about what it is we do and they don’t necessarily realize that we’re much more than warfighters, so just talking to them and hearing their feedback -- they’re incredibly excited about it. They’re going to hang onto leadership and leadership experiences we go through. How we instill that in young men and women and the stress we put them under. From OCS and back to their schools, they’re going to understand how to study better, how to manage their time, how to stand up in a class and take charge and get their peers to also be better students. I think [our guests this week are] starting to realize what kind of citizens we make once we’re out of the Marine Corps. “
The Educators and Key Leaders Workshop is an outlet to integrate key influencers of the college community to the Marine Corps environment. The desired long-term result of the relationship is to help generate and sustain a future force that has a variety of cultural expertise, language skills sets and philosophies needed to meet the operational requirements of the Marine Corps.
Once they go back to their respective communities, these directors, administrators, professors, coaches and civic leaders can tell the Marine Corps story to potentially connect college students to a viable career opportunity within the Marine Corps.