The Warrior Ethos of Marine OCS

Way back in ’92 I went through Marine Officer Candidate School. Not exactly summer camp with smores & singalongs. In fact, the second week there I raised my voice to one of my Drill Instructors & before I knew it I was experiencing multiple DIs in surround sound. But I made it through & went on to serve 5 years, being blessed with the 2 greatest “discoveries” of my life–Jesus & my wife Susan (a student at ECU).

Recently I came across an article on the warrior ethos of Marine OCS training. The goal is to create leaders who are more passionate about accomplishing the mission than attracting a fan club. I was reminded of Paul’s single-minded passion expressed in many places in many ways. Here are a few:

For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified (1 Cor 2:2)

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. (Rom 1:16)

Here’s an excerpt from the article. You can read the full post here.

One of the coolest things I’ve ever seen on leadership was about the Marine’s Officer Candidate School… they discussed the warrior ethos of the Marines. In fact, they emphasized the love of their culture that each Marine has. It’s essential to everything they do. Marines don’t just do their job–they love their job. They love everything about it and the whole ethos that goes into it. This ethos is so deeply entrenched in their culture that typically only people who identify with that ethos are drawn to it. To others, it’s repulsive. But that’s exactly what the Marines want. Makes sense, right? They’re not trying to build a fan club. The Marines have a specific job that requires the warrior ethos. It’s not to be taken lightly, so why not build a culture that attracts the kind of soldiers who aspire to it?

So that application for you is about what kind of culture you’re building. Are you building a culture of leadership where you actually attract the kind of people who will love the ethos of your team and want to perpetuate it? If you’re not, it may be important to weight the costs and benefits of that, and how much sideways energy is required to do it that way.

And then we have the orders of our Commander & Treasure Himself:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Matt 9:37-38)

And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled. (Luke 14:23)

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” (John 20:21)

Jesus endured the cross & accomplished His mission for joy! (Heb 12:2) We are to accomplish the mission of making Him known for joy! (Matt 13:44, John 15:11)

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OK, in the first pic I am smiling on the inside 😉

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