The book "Sustaining the Transformation" is a US Navy publication which gives a detailed information on how Marines are created in the process referred to a transformation. The author focuses on how new volunteers in the US Marines unit are ushered into the service, and how they become fully integrated into the norm of the Marines. The five section in the book gives a chronological process of how transformation occurs and efforts adopted to ensure such process is sustainable. This paper aims at providing a general summary of this book based on the major themes presented by the authors.
The first chapter is a narration of two brothers who joined the Marines and how their transformation process occurred. Both Private James and Private Tommy joined the Marines recruitment process on the same day and thus they were in these same recruitment camp. They both succeed in the hiring process, as they successfully graduated with their parents celebrating their success. However, after four months of training at different training centers, Private Tommy was more successful and even got promoted (Corps, 14). On the other hand, Private James never got any promotion. This first section set a stage to show readers how the transformation process is different even to brothers.
Chapter two of the book focuses on the process used to bring the transformation. Five primary phases of change are established as the main pillars that allow ordinary volunteers to turns into Marines. The first step involves the recruiters who are educated and trained in the most efficient way of selecting perfects candidates (Corps, 20). The second phase focuses on the training process of the recruits, where best training and cooperation is created. The third phase which occurs after the training focuses on making marines more cohesive to each other. Lastly, having sustainment is the service and better citizenship, are the fourth and fifth transformation found in the Marines.
The book also addresses the cohesiveness that Marines creates in the transformation process which gives them their ethos. That cohesiveness has been explained to have five pillars, which includes, marine morale in their duties, having confidence both to leadership as well as unit power, and also having both horizontal and vertical relationship (Corps, 31). When these pillars are implemented, they lead to a Marine that sets and example in the society.
The book also focuses on the obstacles faced by Marines during the transformation process and possible solution to this challenges. These barriers have been categorized as either real or perceived and based on unit or system (Corps, 45). Despite their level of threat, the book has outlined that new solutions are always created to counter such any disappointments in the transformation process.
Lastly, the book has focused on the universal technique that can bring stability in the conversion process and endstate sections. On global method transformation, it has been established that monthly recognitions, anniversary, family day, graduations, and unit events are some of the universal sustainable transformation process (Corps, 62). On the endstate section, the book has concluded that pillars of education, standards establishment, ownership and acceptance, and NCO developments, are the ones which will give rise to the sustainable transformation process.
In conclusion, the above paper has provided a general summary of the book "Sustaining the Transformation" based on the major themes presented by the authors. Five main sections have been developed which explains how the Marines are created through a transformation process. The paper has also revealed various challenges that the marine departments encounter in the conversion process, and how they are prevented. Finally, the book has established that with the right focus, a sustainable transformation has been attained by Marines.
Corps, US Marine. "Sustaining the Transformation." (1999).
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The new version of the Marine Corps Commandant's professional reading list is out, and one title is conspicuously absent.
For the first time since the list debuted in 1989, "Message to Garcia" is nowhere to be found on it.
The 42-page essay penned by Elbert Hubbard in 1899 tells a simple story of a US military officer tasked with delivering a message to the remote leader of the Cuban rebels on the eve of the Spanish-American war. It has been hailed as an example of obedience to orders and task accomplishment, and reportedly is a favorite of former Florida governor and recent presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
But in an essay published in the February issue of the Marine Corps Gazette, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Conroy argued it was time to take "Message to Garcia" off the list for good. The literary work, he argued, reinforces the wrong kind of ideas about leadership and how to follow orders.
Conroy takes issue with the essay's central premise, which encourages troops to complete tasks without asking questions.
"This unquestioning moral is particularly interesting for leaders who are reading the essay, as it raises questions itself," he writes. "Namely, 'Why didn't the soldier ask how or why?' and 'What can I do to replicate that kind of unquestioning confidence in my subordinates?' Sadly, the test of the essay itself stops short of answering these questions."
The essay, Conroy continues, isn't even historically accurate, and is challenged on key points by the account of the officer himself, Army 1st Lt. Andrew Summers Rowan.
"As leaders of Marines in the 21st century, we are in a unique position to leverage the education, versatility, and intellect of our subordinates," Conroy concludes. "Rather than shunning questions, we must teach Marines how and when to ask questions and embrace questions through the training and mentoring process in order to eventually deploy Marines who are confident in their leaders, their tactics, and their mission."
Reached for comment by Military.com, Conroy, now serving as a systems integration chief for Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School, declined to elaborate further.
"While I'm obviously excited to have possibly influenced change in the professional reading program, and hoping that this isn't the most epic April Fool's joke that the Marine Corps has ever pulled on me, I think I'd prefer to let my essay stand mostly on its own," he said in an April 1 email.
A spokesman for Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, Lt. Col. Eric Dent, said the change didn't come about as a result of the editorial. Neller had removed the essay from the "Commandant's Choice" section, where it had been under previous commandant Gen. Joseph Dunford's tenure, Dent said, and it was dropped from the list entirely as a result.
Neller's "Commandant's Choice" section features the US Constitution, the Marine Corps publication "Sustaining the Transformation," and retired Lt. Gen. Victor Krulak's leadership study, "First to Fight."
The reading list is divided by career level, with separate lists at each level for officers and enlisted troops. Marines are expected to read a minimum of three books per year at their designated level.
Other notable additions to the list are the science fiction novel "Ghost Fleet," which Neller has publicly recommended to Marines as a glimpse into the high-tech warfighting future; and former Marine public affairs officer Phil Klay's short story collection "Redeployment," which received the 2014 National Book Award for fiction.
The book list has also added two new professional categories: Cyberwarfare and Security, said Maj. Anton Semelroth, a spokesman for Marine Corps University. In all, the updates to the list included the addition of 36 new titles and the removal of 31 old ones, he said.
"All existing titles are reviewed and recommended additional titles that have been received in the preceding two years are considered for inclusion to the list. The criteria used to determine the updated reading list include availability, impact, readability, scholarly merit, suitability and timelessness," he said in an email.
The biannual list review process takes about six months to complete, he said, and the commandant has final review and approval.
--Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.
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