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What qualities makes a good Marine officer?

Discussion in 'The US Marine Corps Forum' started by Landmonster, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. Landmonster


    Oct 9, 2006
    Fort Worth, TX
    I am considering the Marine Corps for an officer position once I finish my Master's degree.

    What qualities make a good officer? The job interests me, but I am also apprehensive because I am not sure what all it would entail. Like many people, getting up in front of a bunch of people and giving speeches and such kind of bothers me. I can do it, but I'm not fond of it.

    Additionally, would a Master's degree help me in anyway if I were to make the Marines a career? I am referring to any future advancement potential, higher pay, bonuses, etc.
  2. jrs93accord


    Jul 10, 2005
    Pensacola, FL
    To me, what makes a good officer (Marine or otherwise) is to lead by example; to respect the men under you; to seek out and listen to the advice of your senior enlisted non-coms; to command with integrity, distinction, and honor; and to be proud, but not arogant. These are but a few quailities one must possess. A Marine officer is to be above reproach. There is a standard to which all Marine officers are held. That standard is high. Not everyone is cutout to be an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Not everyone is cutout to be a Marine. We are the Few and the Proud.

    SEMPER FI :usmc:

  3. RM

    RM Millennium Member

    Oct 12, 1999
    I have been commanded by and later commanded good officers from all sources, the prior service ranks don't have a lock on who and what makes a good officer, this coming from a former Sgt. The best officers set a good example, show integrity in everything they do, put the interests of their Marines ahead of themselves, are decisive, however show good enough judgment that they are willing to listen to their enlisted advisers.
  4. AdminJarhead


    Apr 23, 2007
    +1 I always look for a good cookie on a new officer when they come to S1 shop to check in.
  5. g27_mengi


    Dec 23, 2005
    2nd Floor
    Amen to that.
  6. semperfiostoj

    semperfiostoj Brutal Candor

    Oct 2, 2005
    A good butterbar knows when to STFU.

    Nothing pissed me off more than some pinhead 2ndLt pulling rank just because he could. Contrary to what you may believe, you didn't learn everything you need to know at OCS and there are enlisted Marines that have been doing the job for a lot longer than you have. Don't fix something that isn't broken just for the sake of hearing yourself talk.
  7. RM

    RM Millennium Member

    Oct 12, 1999
    Actually OCS is not meant to teach anything. The mission of OCS is screening and evaluation, training is very rudimentary and only meant to provide a base line for screening.

    After OCS you attend the 6 month long (The) Basic School, followed by a MOS school.

    Having gone through both pipelines for Marines, I would honestly have to say I got allot better training as a Lt than did to the rank of Sgt.
  8. semperfiostoj

    semperfiostoj Brutal Candor

    Oct 2, 2005
    Then take my comment and substitute "Basic School" for "OCS".

    My point was that many overzealous boot Lts apparently don't understand that golden bars do not magically bestow upon them the knowledge that comes from several years of experience of actually leading Marines and performing the job, whatever the MOS may be. Theory and planning do not trump experience and action.

    Congrats on your commission though; must be cool to have seen both sides. MECEP?
  9. RM

    RM Millennium Member

    Oct 12, 1999
  10. corpdriller


    Feb 10, 2005
    DFW TX

    As others have said LEADERSHIP and INTEGRITY.

    Know that loyalty is NOT one way.

    Take care of your Marines and they will take care of you.

    Don't be afraid to make the hard choice.

    Know the capabilities of your Marines. It could save lives.

    Be a hard-ass when you have to be, but never be a pu**y.

    You don't know everything.

    Know your job and everyone elses under you.

    Train someone to take your place. That way if something happens to you or you move on, your Marines will be taken care of.

    I loved all of my time as a Marine. As a Sergeant, I enjoyed the repect of my peers and those up and down my chain of command.
    BTW..... It's not a job, IT'S AN ADVENTURE!!!
  11. USMC1369


    Apr 24, 2007
    And don't TOUCH a fraxin' compass until you pin on Captain. I mean that; there's nothing worse than perpetuating a stereotype. Fat security guards, Irish cops, and LOST LT'S!!

    No really - Good luck - Keep us posted. Here's some stuff I have received; the first a note after graduating Sgt's course and the other two on Plaques that still hang over my desk.

    "The most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. This myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. That's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. Leaders are made rather than born." Warren G. Bennis

    "Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all." Dwight D. Eisenhower

    "The ultimate leader is one who is willing to develop people to the point that they surpass him or her in knowledge and ability." Fred A. Manske
  12. Marine8541

    Marine8541 iseedeadpeople

    Jul 10, 2006
    Littleton, Colorado
    Good post. I was very lucky when it came to serving under some great officers but by far two stick out as subpar and they were both Mustangs. Just because a Marine was a good NCO certainly doesn't mean he'll be a good officer. The only thing that I'd add to your post is try to keep the politics to a minimum.
  13. usmc4641

    usmc4641 NRA member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Anyone here get to serve with Gunner Walker? I had the opportunity to serve with him from time to time. He is something else.
  14. cce1302


    Dec 22, 2007
    YEah I was with him in Iraq in 2005. At BD, then Habbaniyah a little. Were you there?
  15. ro42023


    Nov 9, 2007
    in all actuallity being a Marine isnt a job, its a choice. you will be put in a postition of leading a lot of Marines in a very short time. i have a 2nd lt coming and trying to shake things up. i am older than him, i have more time in service than him and i have been doing this "job" longer than him. im a Sgt and in the below zone to pick up staff. i have been leading marines since he was in high school. now he comes in with a degree in something, i dont know what it is and he is in charge of almost a whole squadron. he thinks he knows more than he really does and tries to show it. slow down listen to the people around you that have been doing this for a lot longer and dont act like you are in charge of them. they already know you are in charge of them, but you dont have to tell them and make them feel like they arent nothing because you are an officer and i am just a sgt.
  16. inkslut

    inkslut NRA Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    San Antonio
    Amen to that! I wish the Marine Corps would have passed the "Corporal First" rule years ago when it was proposed. I think it would have made a better Marine Corps.
  17. AdminJarhead


    Apr 23, 2007
    Yeah then no one would be an officer though. I came in two years ago after already completing 4 yrs of college and earning my bachelor's of science. I enlisted thinking that in order to know how to lead I first needed to know how to follow. Now two years later and a Coporal, I have no desire to trade in the strips on my sleeve for the bars on my collar. Just my oppinion of course.
  18. GreenDrake

    GreenDrake Rip Lips

    Apr 22, 2007
    North Idaho

    Always got a kick out of human behavior, especially in the Corps. the butter bars try so hard to establish themselves and pull rank. By Captain they usually get their stride and cool off.
  19. 1985 4Runner

    1985 4Runner Agitator

    May 27, 2006
    Gulf Coast MS
    Remember the NCO's are the backbone of the Corps.