News: Temple University hosts 3rd Marine Corps Leadership Seminar
Story by Sgt. Christopher Zahn
PHILIDELPHIA, Penn. - The Marine Corps has an institutional history of developing leaders from within its ranks. Every Marine from the private first class to the general learns the leadership traits and principles the Corps instills as a foundation.
That foundation produces some of the finest leaders in the world and from Feb. 24-25 it was shared with students from Temple University during the third Marine Corps Leadership Seminar.
“The commandant is looking for different ways to connect with the American public,” said Dr. Ken Dunn, director of the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar. “He wanted to use Marine Corps leadership to connect with colleges and universities, and communities across the United States.”
The seminar is not designed to be used as a recruiting tool but just to expose college students to Marine Corps leadership.
“We’re not trying to recruit them but we are telling them that at some point in the future if they are looking to do something different, then perhaps look into coming in the Corps as an officer,” said Dunn, who retired as a colonel.
The seminar kicked off early on a Saturday, a time when most college students are still sleeping away a week’s worth of classes. But the opportunity to learn about Marine Corps leadership from the experts attracted more than 60 students.
“I respect the Marines a lot and I wanted to hear what their opinion on leadership was,” said Nick Nendel, a junior student at Temple. “I’m in a lot of leadership positions in my life and it’s always good to get a perspective like that because the military is so different from the civilian world.”
Over the course of the seminar the students listened and learned from eight captains who teach leadership at Officer Candidate School and The Basic School aboard Quantico. They examined historic leadership challenges, focusing on the ethical dilemma and decision making abilities of the leaders in those situations. There were also plenty of opportunities for students to question and discuss with the Marines individually.
“I think it’s important to know what kind of leadership aspects each of us have,” said Lauren Kidd, a sophomore student at Temple. “For me, I think I could improve on getting to know each person better.”
They also conducted several team-building and leadership problem scenarios, similar to the Leadership Reaction Course used to train Marine officer candidates at OCS.
“In the interactive part I learned that you need to have command as a leader but you also need to use all your resources,” Nendel said. “Sometimes the best way to solve a problem was to use an unorthodox solution.”
The students also were able to listen to two guest speakers who were able to relay the leadership tips they had accumulated over 30 years of service: retired Lt. Gen. Ronald Coleman and retired Maj. Gen. Clifford Stanley.
“One thing [Coleman] said that stuck out to me was ‘You can’t be concerned with who gets the credit,’” Kidd said.
The Corps hosts four of these seminars a year at various locations across the country. The next seminar will be held in Cleveland during Marine Week from June 11-17. To register for a upcoming seminar send your name, the seminar location, your school or business affiliation and contact phone number to MCLS@usmc.mil .