Commentary

December 20, 2012

Listening to Superiors

Lance Cpl. Zachary Scanlon

There is something to say about a lower enlisted Marine with an opinion, and that is they should have a limited one especially when time is of the essence. For most young Marines in the Corps words like, “We don’t pay you to think,” have been said to them on more than one occasion. There is a reason for that. Do you think an organization like the Marine Corps, which has led troops worldwide for 237 years, would just say that for no reason? Of course not. Given the Marine Corps’ age it has had generations to refine the rules and regulations that govern us. There are reasons why decisions and opinions should be left to the senior leadership.

First, to get promoted, the Corps has a rigorous promotion system where you must know how to shoot a rifle, be fit (to an extent), and be a high-quality Marine with superior pros and cons. These are all necessary traits to be a great leader.

Along with this promotion system comes the factor of experience. How can a junior Marine with four years or less bring anything new to a rapidly evolving Marine Corps that a 12-plus year senior Marine doesn’t already know. That is why they are leaders, because of experience. Age and experience is another necessary trait to be a fine Marine Corps leader.

For the junior Marines that may still question or have an opinion on how things are run, let me ask you this: do you think the U.S. run military would let an inexperienced, unqualified leader lead young men and women into battle? That doesn’t make sense. Why would an organization that has a history of impressive success because of its proficient tactics do that?

Lastly, if all that wasn’t reason enough, just remember this old drill instructor saying, “If we wanted your opinion, we would have issued you one!”

Trust in your leadership. Trust in your Corps. There is a reason for everything.




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