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4 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Newly Revised ‘Leading Marines’

Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James Amos signed revisions to the Marine Corps Warfighting Publication 6-11 of Leading Marines. This is the first revision since its original publication in 1995.

For the first time since its original publication in 1995, “Leading Marines,” a must-read for Marine Corps leaders (and a required read for aspiring corporals), has been revised.

Why rewrite it now?

After 13 years of continuous combat, the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos felt it was time to update “Leading Marines” to capture the stories of Marines like Dakota Meyer, Kyle Carpenter, Bradley Kasal, Jason Dunham, Bradley Atwell and Kenneth Conover.

“Input from Marines from private first class through general guided the re-write of ‘Leading Marines,’” said Col. Keil Gentry, director, Marine Corps War College. “Because leadership is at the heart of who we are as Marines, the commandant charges all Marines to read the revised publication and to talk about it with their peers, subordinates, and seniors.”

“Leading Marines” is not meant to be read passively, it is meant to generate spirited discussions to help develop the next generation of Marine leaders. Here are four things you (probably) didn’t know about the newly revised Leading Marines.

More To Love

Although the book still only consists of three chapters, readers can expect to enjoy an additional 10 pages. “Leading Marines is not designed as a reference manual,” Gen. James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps, writes in the revised foreword. “It is meant to be read from cover to cover. Its three chapters have a natural progression.”

Clear Sight Alignment

Gentry said input from Marines resulted in the core values, leadership traits, and leadership principles being moved from the appendices to the main text to give them greater emphasis. Additionally, there is a deeper discussion of moral courage in several places and some of the historical vignettes have been replaced with other stories to highlight key points.

Modern Warfare

Not only does the text paint pictures of 19th and 20th Century Marines, but now tells the stories of contemporary ones as well. One example is Capt. Henry Elrod the VMF-211 squadron who demonstrated the concept that every Marine is a rifleman. While flying as a pilot with VMF-211 in World War II, his aircraft was destroyed. He then took command of Marines on the ground. Almost 71 years later, Marines from the same squadron, now designated as VMA-211, would demonstrate the concept again as they fought off insurgents who were attacking their airfield in Afghanistan. Another example of current stories are the three Marine Medal of Honor recipients from Iraq and Afghanistan. “This manual comes to life through the voices, writings, and examples of not one person, but many,” Gen. Carl Mundy writes in the original foreword.

Eye Relief

Along with new stories, readers will find new graphics and photos that bring a modern feel to the pages of an almost 20-year text. “We’ve added some vignettes to illustrate the concepts a bit better,” Gentry said. “In addition to those that have been added from the past 13 years, there are some interesting older pieces that you haven’t seen before.”

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