CMC Vision for the Corps

FM CMC WASHINGTON DC(UC)
TO AL ALMAR(UC)
UNCLASSIFIED
ALMAR 018/05
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC
SUBJ/33RD COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS UPDATED GUIDANCE
(THE 21ST /CENTURY MARINE CORPSCREATING STABILITY IN AN UNSTABLE WORLD)
GENTEXT/REMARKS

1. WHEN I ASSUMED DUTIES AS THE 33RD COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS ON 13 JANUARY 2003, I PUBLISHED MY GUIDANCE IN ORDER TO PROVIDE DIRECTION DURING THE FOLLOWING FOUR YEARS. TODAY, THE ENTIRE MARINE CORPS IS ENGAGED IN SUPPORTING THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR. WHILE THIS MISSION IS OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY, WE ALSO HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PREPARE FOR THE FUTURE. THIS MESSAGE UPDATES THE GUIDANCE OF 13 JANUARY BY LAYING OUT OUR VISION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY MARINE CORPS. ADDITIONALLY, IT CONTAINS MY INTENT FOR ACHIEVING THIS VISION.

2. VISION. WE REMAIN THE NATION’S PREMIER EXPEDITIONARY COMBAT FORCE-IN-READINESS. WE ARE PRIMARILY A NAVAL FORCE WHOSE STRENGTH IS OUR ABILITY TO ACCESS DENIED AREAS FROM GREAT DISTANCES. WE PROJECT MARINE FORCES FROM LAND OR SEA BASES FOR OPERATIONS AS PART OF A JOINT OR COMBINED FORCE. WE PROVIDE DEFENSE OF THE HOMELAND BY OPERATING FROM FORWARD DEPLOYED LOCATIONS THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. WE SUSTAIN OUR DEPLOYED FORCES FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME. WE FIGHT ACROSS THE SPECTRUM OF CONFLICT. HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT OUR FUTURE WILL BE CHARACTERIZED BY IRREGULAR WARS. WE FOCUS ON WARFIGHTING EXCELLENCE IN EVERYTHING WE DO. A GUIDING PRINCIPLE OF OUR CORPS IS THAT WE FIGHT AS COMBINED-ARMS TEAMS, SEAMLESSLY INTEGRATING OUR GROUND, AVIATION AND LOGISTICS FORCES. WE EXPLOIT THE SPEED, FLEXIBILITY, AND AGILITY INHERENT IN OUR COMBINED-ARMS APPROACH TO DEFEAT TRADITIONAL, TERRORIST, AND EMERGING THREATS TO OUR NATION’S SECURITY. EVERY MARINE IS A RIFLEMAN AND A WARRIOROUR LINK TO THE PAST AND OUR KEY TO THE FUTURE. WE TRAIN AND EDUCATE OUR MARINES TO THINK INDEPENDENTLY AND ACT AGGRESSIVELY, WITH SPEED AND INITIATIVE, AND TO EXPLOIT THE ADVANTAGES OF CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING. WE THRIVE IN THE CHAOTIC AND UNPREDICTABLE ENVIRONMENTS IN WHICH OUR FORCES ARE EMPLOYED. WE ARE COMMITTED TO AND SUSTAINED BY OUR FAMILIES, THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, AND OUR OPERATIONAL PARTNERS. WE ARE DEVOTED TO EACH OTHER AND THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM.

3. INTENT.

A. PURPOSE. TO PROVIDE THE CAPABILITIES JOINT FORCE COMMANDERS WILL NEED TO MEET THE WIDE SPECTRUM OF CHALLENGES THAT OUR NATION WILL FACE IN THE 21ST CENTURY.

B. METHOD. WE WILL PRESERVE OUR TRADITION OF BEING MOST READY WHEN THE NATION IS LEAST READY. WE WILL CONTINUE TO RELY ON OUR FUNDAMENTAL TENETS OF EXPEDITIONARY MANEUVER WARFARE AND COMBINED-ARMS AIR-GROUND TASK FORCES. WE WILL ENHANCE AND EXPAND THESE CAPABILITIES THROUGH THE AGGRESSIVE IMPLEMENTATION OF SEA-BASING AND DISTRIBUTED OPERATIONS. THESE TRANSFORMING CONCEPTS WILL INCREASE OUR AGILITY AND SPEED IN OPERATIONS FROM COOPERATIVE SECURITY TO MAJOR COMBAT.

(1) OUR SUCCESSES HAVE COME FROM THE AGGRESSIVE SPIRIT, ADAPTABILITY AND FLEXIBILITY OF OUR LEADERS AND UNITS AT ALL LEVELS. WE WILL CONTINUE TO CREATE MARINES WHO THRIVE IN CHAOTIC AND UNCERTAIN ENVIRONMENTS. TO THAT END, WE WILL PLACE RENEWED EMPHASIS ON OUR GREATEST ASSETTHE INDIVIDUAL MARINETHROUGH IMPROVED TRAINING AND EDUCATION IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES, CULTURAL AWARENESS, TACTICAL INTELLIGENCE AND URBAN OPERATIONS. WE WILL DEVELOP AND PROVIDE THE BEST INDIVIDUAL EQUIPMENT AVAILABLE. WE WILL TRAIN, EDUCATE, ORIENT AND EQUIP ALL MARINES TO OPERATE SKILLFULLY ACROSS THE WIDE SPECTRUM OF OPERATIONS, BLENDING THE NEED FOR COMBAT SKILLS AND COUNTER-INSURGENCY SKILLS WITH THOSE REQUIRED FOR CIVIL-AFFAIRS. TO DO SO, WE WILL CONTINUE TO ATTRACT, RECRUIT AND RETAIN THE BEST OF AMERICA’S YOUTH.

(2) IMPLEMENTATION OF DISTRIBUTED OPERATIONS AS AN EXTENSION OF MANEUVER WARFARE WILL REQUIRE A FOCUS ON ENHANCED SMALL UNITS: MORE AUTONOMOUS, MORE LETHAL, AND BETTER ABLE TO OPERATE ACROSS THE FULL SPECTRUM OF OPERATIONS. THIS WILL REQUIRE INVESTING IN THE TECHNOLOGIES AND TRAINING THAT WILL PROVIDE INDIVIDUAL COMMUNICATIONS, TACTICAL MOBILITY, AND NETWORKED INTELLIGENCE DOWN TO THE SQUAD LEVEL. OUR LOGISTICS AND FIRES CAPABILITIES MUST BE ADAPTIVE AND SCALABLE IN ORDER TO SUPPORT THESE SMALL UNITS, WHETHER DISPERSED ACROSS THE BATTLE SPACE OR AGGREGATED FOR LARGER OPERATIONS.

(3) WE WILL RELY ON OUR TRADITIONAL STRENGTH OF WORKING WITH PARTNER NATIONS IN ORDER TO ENHANCE REGIONAL SECURITY AND STABILITY. ADDITIONALLY, WE WILL PLACE NEW EMPHASIS ON INTERACTION AND COORDINATION WITH KEY INTERAGENCY AND INTERNATIONAL FORCES.

(4) WHILE EVER READY TO RESPOND TO MAJOR COMBAT OPERATIONS, THE FUTURE HOLDS A GREATER LIKELIHOOD OF IRREGULAR WARS FOUGHT IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS, AGAINST THINKING ENEMIES USING ASYMMETRIC TACTICS. THUS, WE WILL ADAPT OUR TACTICS, TECHNIQUES AND PROCEDURES AS WELL AS TECHNOLOGY TO ENHANCE OUR CAPABILITIES TO SUCCEED IN THESE ENVIRONMENTS. WE WILL SHAPE AND ENHANCE THE CAPABILITIES OF OUR RESERVE FORCES TO RESPOND TO THE 21ST CENTURY ENVIRONMENT, AND IMPROVE OUR INTEGRATION AND COORDINATION WITH SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND.

(5) WE WILL CONTINUE TO ENHANCE AND TRANSFORM OUR CAPABILITIES FOR FORCIBLE ENTRY FROM THE SEA. SEABASING WILL SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE OUR DEPLOY/EMPLOY TIMELINES WHILE ALSO DRAMATICALLY REDUCING OUR FOOTPRINT ASHORE. WHILE THE MARINE EXPEDITIONARY BRIGADE IS OUR PRIMARY FORCIBLE ENTRY FORCE, OUR PRINCIPAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE JOINT FIGHT IN MAJOR COMBAT OPERATIONS WILL REMAIN THE MARINE EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.

C. END STATE. A MARINE CORPS THAT CELEBRATES ITS CULTURE AND ETHOS, BUT IS NEVER SATISFIED WITH ITS CURRENT CAPABILITIES AND OPERATIONAL PERFORMANCE. A MARINE CORPS THAT IS A LEARNING ORGANIZATION: EMBRACING INNOVATION AND IMPROVEMENT IN ORDER TO INCREASE ITS EFFECTIVENESS AS PART OF THE JOINT FORCE.

4. I CHARGE EACH AND EVERY MARINE TO READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS GUIDANCE. IMPLEMENTING TASKINGS HAVE ALREADY BEEN DELIVERED TO THE DEPUTY COMMANDANTS, DIRECTORS AND MARINE FORCE COMMANDERS. HOWEVER, ALL MARINES HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO FULLY SUPPORT AND AGGRESSIVELY IMPLEMENT THE INTENT.

5. SEMPER FIDELIS AND KEEP ATTACKING,
M. W. HAGEE, GENERAL,
U.S.MARINE CORPS, COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS.

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