Management Practices of Marine Corps Recruit Training
Management Practices of Marine Corps Recruit Training
Marine Corps recruit training is organized specifically to make Marines who are committed to the institutions core values of honor courage and commitment in service to the country. Recruit training is organized by Regiment; within the Regiment there are several components such as Battalion, Company, Platoons, Squads, and Fire Teams. Marine Corps Recruit Training San Diego uses the five functions of organizational management, which are planning, leading, organizing, staffing, and controlling (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. 2011) in order to provide America with the finest fighting force in the world. During this paper, I will describe the organizational management of recruit training and how we incorporate each specific function to successfully provide trained Marines to defend our nation, win battles, and defend our reputation as America’s force in readiness. Planning is a integral part of organizing recruit training. It all starts with the actual recruiting process. Recruiting consist of projecting the amount of marines that will go to recruit training.
Recruiters are strategically located in areas based off their strengths and backgrounds, usually placed in areas in which they are familiar with the cultural backgrounds. Doing this provides leverage to successfully communicate and bond with those seeking to join the Marine Corps. Planning requires assessing the environment, determining goals for the organization, developing plans to achieve specific goals, and allocating resources (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011). Assessing the environment for recruiters is to actually understand the demographics of the actual area in which they work in.
Areas such as political, social trends, economic conditions, technical changes, and competitive forces effect recruiting and planning for recruit training. They can use political reasoning as a tool to actually recruit young men and women to join; often using what the Marine Corps has to offer as a selling point. Education, pride in belonging, physical fitness, adventure, patriotism, professionalism, compensation, healthcare, and retirement are a few selling tools used to attract those who desire direction and life-altering changes.
The shipping schedule is usually determined by the amount of recruits are going to be attending training. Based off the training matrix, which is broken down into quarters, usually around when kids are graduating high school, the shipping will be high, due to those who discussed joining after graduation. The winter months are slow based off holidays, and kids in school, and a few months after graduation, there is a moderate shipping schedule.
These are the kids that decided to either go to school or work first, and either dropped out, worked first and decided they wanted something different, or the ones that decided to stay home and finally desire some direction. One area that would effect recruiting and planning for recruit training would be politics and the economic condition. For example, recruiting during a time of war actually saw no decrease in those wanting to join the Marine Corps. The Marine Corps plans for workshops for educators to actually get an inside view of the rarely seen training of Marines.
At the Marine Corps workshop, teachers, school officials and board members meet Drill Instructors, watch Marines in physical training and grab chow at the mess hall with Drill Instructors and recruits in which it does promote enlisting (Becker, A. , 2007). The economy also plays a major role in the ability to recruit those wanting to join the Marine Corps. When the unemployment rate is high, recruiters use job stability as a tool to land contacts in the Marine Corps, as the military provides a solid compensation plan, as well as retirement, medical, and housing benefits, as well as education.
Determining organizational goals for recruit training is to establish a training environment that is predicated upon an a intensive twelve week entry-level training program designed to transform recruits into Marines through thorough indoctrination of Marine Corps history, customs, and traditions by imbuing them with mental, moral, and physical condition necessary for successful service to Corps and Country. This is similar to a mission statement, which expresses a clear and concise reason for why the organization exists (Reilly, M. Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011). To achieve these objectives, a plan must be created and followed to strategically accomplish the mission. The strategy is to foster character development, discipline, military bearing, esprit de corps, and Marine Corps common combat skills. Character development would be instilling and understanding the belief in corps values of honor, courage and commitment and those principles essential to values-based off decision making, while stressing teamwork along with leadership.
To achieve a state of discipline would be insuring respect for authority, instantaneous obedience to orders, and self-reliance to maintain those traits that exemplify a Marine which are obedience, fidelity and zeal. Military bearing is properly maintaining and wearing the uniforms as well as demonstrating military presence and personal awareness that Marines are Marines twenty-four hours a day seven days a week; and an always maintain a high degree of personal hygiene.
Esprit de Corps is to instill the warrior ethos, which inspires mental and physical toughness, devotion, pride, initiative, determination, and an intense desire to work with and for others towards excellence in achieving common goals. Marine Corps Common Combat Skills assist in achieving mastery of and proficiency in basic common skills such as rifle handling, hand to hand combat, customs and courtesies, marine corps history, swim techniques, close order drill, and basic warrior field training.
Leading is extremely important to recruit training, as it is the foundation of developing Marines. “Leading means motivating, coordinating, and energizing individuals and groups to work together to achieve organizational goals” (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011). Recruit training has several layers of authority between the recruit and top level management in which is favors a mechanistic organizational structure. Within Recruit Training Regiment, there is Drill Instructor School, and Series Commanders Course.
These courses are designed to develop Marines to become Drill Instructors and Officers capable of earning the title to train recruits. In order to become a Drill Instructor, one must complete a thorough mental, physical, financial, and moral screening before attending. The tour is regarded as one of the most intense demanding and important duties in the U. S. Armed Forces, as it is critical due to it being the spearhead of making Marines. Becoming a Marine Corps Drill Instructor is considered the most oveted as only the top two percent of the Marine Corps completes this tour of duty. It requires a vast amount of leadership as it requires a high level of commitment in order to achieve extraordinary results which require vision, trust, courage, passion, coaching, developing others, intensity, love, and even serving as a parent figure (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011). Drill Instructor duty is approximately a three-year commitment, starting with Drill Instructor School, in which you are required to at least be a E-5 (Sergeant) to attend.
Days usually start at 0400 and end around 1930 at times going longer due to additional duties such as clean up or recruit evening observation. The course is designed to practice effective time management and is a leadership school focused on further development of student’s leadership abilities and potential in which the main effort converges on the concepts of positive, concerned and ethical leadership. In order to pass Drill Instructor school, each Marine must display the mature use of power, motivation, effective teamwork, and good communication skills.
Due to the extreme tempo of the course, Marines are required to comprehend knowledge of basic military subjects that will be covered in recruit training as well as learn the directives and regulations and procedures governing recruit training. Lastly, they must be physically fit in order to lead recruits during daily physical training. This is one of the most visible illustration of leading by example, as preparation is important as it ensures confidence through endurance and agility. The conditioning program is designed to develop four components, strength endurance, agility, and coordination.
The program is progressive in nature, as Marines attending are required to run three miles in less than 23:00, complete 10 or more dead hang pull-ups, and complete 80 or more crunches in a two minute time frame. The reasoning for the high standards is to insure Marine Corps Drill Instructors are the finest Marines capable of providing direction for what needs to be accomplished, ensuring people do their jobs to the best of their abilities, and train people though personal example by motivating and inspiring them to be leaders.
Leadership consists of several layers, regiment, battalion, company, platoon, and squad. For the purpose of leading, let’s discuss the Company level. Company level leadership consist of six to seven platoons, with the leadership consisting of a Company Commander, two Series Commanders, Company First Sergeant, two Chief Drill Instructors (one lead and one follow series), six to seven Senior Drill Instructors, twenty to twenty six green belt Drill Instructors. Each series has three to four platoons, each platoon has one Senior Drill Instructor with three green belt Drill Instructors.
The Company Commander is in charge of all Instructors with the responsibility to enforce higher headquarters command intent, along with safety and enforcing adherence to the standard operation procedures of Recruit Training. Series Commanders are responsible for overall safety and training facilities of Recruit Training, as they report to the Company Commander of any violations to the standard operating procedures. A Company First Sergeant is responsible for all enlisted matters, and is the senior enlisted advisor to the Commanding Officer on all matters pertaining to recruit training and administrative actions.
Chief Drill Instructor is responsible for all Senior and green belt Drill Instructors, acting as a supervisor of daily routines; he is similar to a manager in a company with multiple training cycles and experience. This billet is reserved for the most experienced and qualified Marine in the Company. Senior Drill Instructors are actually training and developing Marines in which they have the unique bond and responsibility to insure green belts do not push recruits beyond their physical and mental abilities.
They act as the father figure, that recruits can share their personal problems with in order to complete recruit training. The Senior Drill Instructor is similar to a platoon Sergeant, responsible for everything that happens within the platoon. Green belt Drill Instructors are the backbone, in which they instill discipline, instant obedience to orders, and stress. The recruit learns everything from green belts such as how to eat, hygiene, communicate, fight, wear uniforms, military customs history and courtesies, and overall conduct of recruit training.
Leading in Marine Corps Recruit Training is defined “as one’s ability to inspire and motivate a group of Marines to accomplish a mission” (Avalle, M. , 2008). This includes assisting Marines to achieve the highest level of performance in their duties, as well as influencing positive behavior and daily commitments to inspire success. Organizational structure of recruit training is into a Recruit Training Regiment (RTR), which has a battalion, company, platoon, and squad. The Recruit Training Regiment is composed of three training battalions and one support battalion, which are highly mechanized employing formalization and standardization.
The infrastructure of the training environment features “highly routine operating tasks typically grouped together into functional departments with high formalization, central authority, and the decision making flows through a chain of command” (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011). The Regiment Headquarters consist of staff sections ranging from administration to operations and logistics staffed to provide command and control of the subordinate battalions and Drill Instructor School.
As discussed before, DI school further develops the knowledge, command presence, physical condition, leadership, and instructional abilities of selected staff non-commission officers, non-commissioned officers to successfully perform the duties of a DI. Support battalion provides subject matter expertise in direct support to RTR in its overall mission of making Marines. They conduct receiving and processing administration, medical and physical rehabilitation conditioning, instructional training and evaluating of academics, water survival, and martial arts.
Support Battalion has a special training company (STC), recruit processing company (RCP), and instructional training company (ITC). The Regiment is designed by organizing by task and authority relationships that allow Marines to work together to achieve the goal of making Marines, broken down into three tasks; job design, departmentalization, and establishing organizational structure (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011). An example of job design is how STC is departmentalized into several functional areas. Physical conditioning platoon, evaluation holding platoon, basic marine platoon, and medical rehabilitation platoon.
MRP and PCP have the responsibility of medical rehabilitation in case of injury or medical illness and are unable to continue training. Instructional training company provides academic, Marine Corps martial arts program training, combat water survival, and monitors all academic testing. They also support special training company to speed the recovery of recruits who are on medical recovery. Recruit training battalions consist of a headquarters company and four training companies that conduct prescribed training for recruits.
Headquarters has several functional areas in which they support the training companies. For example, First Battalion has a headquarters and four training companies, Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, and Delta. “The intended outcome of organizing is to create an organizational structure which is a formal system of task and reporting relationships that coordinates the activities of members so that they work together to achieve organizational goals” (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011). The organizational structure uses a chain of command, service and operational.
The Service chain begins with the President, through the Secretary of Defense, and continues through the Secretary of the Navy and Commandant of the Marine Corps (Rhodes, J. , 1998). The operational chain runs from the President, through the Secretary of Defense, directly to the Commanders of combatant and training commands for missions, training and forces assigned to their commands. Staffing of Recruit Training includes “recruiting, selecting, training, evaluating, compensating, and disciplining of employees within the organization” (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. 2011).
As discussed earlier, the organization starts with the recruiting process, in which qualified Marines are enlisted in the Marine Corps. Selecting the finest, most qualified Marines is also an extremely important function in Recruit Training. The selection process includes the level of training required to execute the job successfully, experience, special skills (technical and physical), personality characteristics, and legal requirements to qualify. Drill Instructors are required to be mature, as they have to be at least a E-5 to become eligible to train Marines.
Top-level leadership is responsible for the intense scrutiny of each Marine selected to attend Drill Instructor School, as there is a high attrition level of graduating 85% as some are fail to meet the standards and rigors of training. Reasons include but not limited to not meeting the physical and physiological demands, failing to adjust, medical injuries to include stress fractures and extremity injuries, and various other administrative and disciplinary reasons. Officers and enlisted are held to the highest standers of personal conduct, morality, and professional skills.
Commissioned officers dealing with enlisted members, officers are required to “base your relations with enlisted personnel upon the same mutual respect as you base your relations with your fellow officers. The measure of respect you inspire in your enlisted personnel is your measure of success as an officer” (Darcey, P. , 2012). The training and evaluating process, all marines are governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice system and Standard Operating Procedures manual for recruit training. The UCMJ and SOP act as the formalized rules and regulations in which all Marines are required to adhere to.
Through these manuals, each Marine has a specific boundary of responsibility and delegated authority in which Marines are disciplined by superiors for violating rules. The evaluation process is how successful one is at salvaging substandard recruits, performance of all training events to include drill, marksmanship training, physical fitness scores, and academic evaluation scores. Compensation consist of rewarding Marines by successfully scoring high in all functional areas of recruit training without violating the rules.
Performance appraisals are done by the top-level leadership. Marines are recognized at the end of each cycle by various awards that promote advancement in higher responsibilities, such as advancing in billets, distinguished as the Honor platoon, which is the best platoon in the Company, Moral leadership award which is the best Drill Instructor that assisted in the over all advancement of the Company, or Dan Daly award which is awarded for being the hardest working Drill Instructor.
Incentives encourage superior performance, as well as breed healthy competition for Marines to strive for excellence. Performance evaluation also assists in identifying areas of weakness and strengths as they allow an opportunity to assist in improving the overall development of each Drill Instructor. One area unique in nature is every three months, leadership changes along with Drill Instructor teams. This allows the leadership to equally balance out teams lacking in certain areas of experience.
Control in recruit training establishes accurate measuring and monitoring systems to evaluate how successful each Battalion and Company achieves its training goals. The standards of control process consist of four steps which are establish and receive standards set in the planning process, measure performance at the strategic, tactical, and operational levels, compare performance outcomes with the standards that were met, and making decisions (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011). Supervision in recruit training is essential to the success of developing Marines.
This allows superiors to ensure training objectives are met through supervision, if they standards are not met; they are able to swiftly distinguish things that are failing to improve the training environment and ways to actually improve those standards. Measuring performance in physical fitness, academics, physical injuries, marksmanship, close order drill scores, combat fitness scores, and various other productivity and efficiency accurately displays the performance and effectiveness in the control process.
Company wide process is evaluated by the top level, such as the Company staff which is the Commanding Officer, Series Commanders, Company First Sergeant, and Chief Drill Instructors. Departmental levels include Senior Drill Instructors and their fellow Drill Instructors within their actual platoon. Standards are compared by evaluating the performance based off fellow companies in the Battalion. As stated before, there are four companies in a battalion.
All companies report statistics to higher headquarters, which is at the battalion level. Performance data is gathered and compared to fellow companies and battalions. This gives a average, using ratios by adding all companies together and dividing by the total companies in the battalion. Either the company greatly exceeds the standards, the standard was met, was slightly missed, the standard was missed, or was grossly missed, (Reilly, M. , Minnick, C. , & Baack, D. , 2011).
Appraisals are extremely important in the controlling process as it allows for management to make decision in which poor performance will be mitigated and address, and good performances will be recognized, shared and awarded. This process works as a feedback tool of what worked and failed in management of Recruit Training in which standards allow the progression of effective organizational systems at each level. In closing, Recruit Training incorporates organizational management practices of planning, leading, organizing, staffing, an controlling to successfully train Recruits, Officers, and Drill Instructors.
Planning is the beginning phase and important to establish directions for goals to be met, which was unforeseen and projected. Controlling is the process of supervising performance against established goals as well as developing unique methods to take action in maintaining and improving performance within the organization. Organizing is forming Marines to gather resources; knowledge and experience to create products and services in an effective efficient manner in order to successfully execute the mission of Recruit training.
Planning was the systematic process in which supervisors make critical decisions about future training and key objectives the Recruit Training environment strives to achieve. And lastly, staffing is the effective organization of Marines joined as a team to successfully engage them to achieve organizational goals. Through organizational management, recruit training continues to function as a well-designed training environment, able to validate our force in readiness as America’s finest fighting force.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 11 November 2016
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