The relationship between age and leadership
The organization in which the problem I will be presenting is the United States Marine Corps and my role in it is a Corporal. The location would be Camp Lejeune, NC which is where my unit was stationed. The business line would be the military. The unit is 2nd Marine Division, 6th Marine Regiment, Headquarters Company, S-4, and Supply Section. The unit’s size is 400 Marines of which 11 Marines are assigned to the supply section. A Marine is service member within the United States Marine Corps which is a branch of the Navy and is under the Department of Defense. To become a Marine, a person goes to boot camp for three months, after that they go to Marine Combat training for three weeks, after that non-infantry Marines attend their respective schools based upon their job field. Once a Marine is done with school they are assigned a duty station, at the point the Marine arrives at their first duty station are usually at the rank of Private First Class. The way the enlisted rank structure in the Marine Corps works is as follows. The ranks of Private, Private First Class and Lance Corporal are considered junior Marines. The ranks of Corporal and Sergeant are considered Non-Commissioned Officers or NCO’s. The ranks of Staff Sergeant, Gunnery Sergeant, Master Sergeant, Master Gunnery Sergeant, and Sergeant Major, are considered Staff NCO’s. An NCO is required is responsible for training junior Marines, disciplining them, and their general welfare. Even though an NCO might only outrank the Marine under them by one or two ranks they have a major effect on their lives. A junior Marine takes their orders directly from the Marine to the closest rank senior to them, it is called the chain of command. Marines aren’t allowed to skip the chain of command and could actually get in trouble for it. Because of the control that an NCO has over their junior Marine, it is very important that the NCO is capable of leading those Marines in the way that the Marine Corps expects them to. The role of an NCO might sound like something that takes years to reach but the reality about it is that many NCO’s are just teenagers. Even though they have an enormous amount of responsibility put on their shoulders, many NCO’s aren’t afforded the opportunity to attend NCO course which is the basic leadership skills that are needed for them to do their job are taught. The length of time that a Marine spends as a junior Marine is shorter than ever, nowadays it is possible for a Marine to become an NCO in less than a year. Problem Statement
The problem that I see today is that Marines are being promoted younger than ever before, this means that they are assuming leadership roles as young as their teenage years. Can a Marine with little experience as a follower be prepared to be a leader? The promoting system that the Marine Corps has in place doesn’t promote Marines equally; instead they are promoted based on the score (cutting score) that is set for their job position. For example, if more Corporals are needed in one job position the score is lowered so that more Lance Corporals can be promoted to Corporals. This means that the newly promoted Corporals weren’t necessarily the most qualified or even ready for that matter to be Corporals. This method of promoting also creates conflicts with the Marines that were passed over for promotion as most of them see it as unfair. Ever since boot camp it is instilled into a Marine’s head that rank is earned and not given, this method makes it seem that the rank is being ‘given’ to Marines based on a need for a certain rank. It wasn’t unlikely for newly promoted Marines to lack basic Marine NCO skills such as knowing how to march Marines, performing room and uniform inspections, or simply holding a training session. Usually a senior Marine would have to step in and help the young NCO in...