It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your Commanding Officer.
I am proud to serve with such dedicated professionals who so diligently provide the best support possible to the I Marine Expeditionary Force and the 13th MEU. Our mission demands that we remain the most agile, flexible, and adaptable logistics unit in the Marine Corps. We need to be the best at what we do and always be able to operate in any clime and place.
Think. Know how to think rather than merely what to think. Be able to think quickly, soundly, and critically under any condition. These skills are essential in a rapidly changing expeditionary environment. Be creative and never be reluctant to offer up ideas or solutions. The opinion of every Marine and Sailor in CLB-13 counts and each of us is capable of being innovative, solving problems, and making improvements.
Accountability. In addition to being accountable for ourselves and our actions, we must remember that we are responsible for all that our Marines and Sailors do or fail to do. Marines and Sailors ALWAYS account for and take personal responsibility for their personnel, weapons, and equipment. There is no excuse for doing otherwise. Even the slightest negligence in these areas will not be tolerated—period. Our people and gear are vital to mission accomplishment and survival in combat, and require strict accountability and the utmost care.
Knowledge. Leadership development, education, and professional reading will be continuous within this command. Intelligence and common sense are cornerstones of success. How we communicate is equally important. Speaking and writing ability must always be improved. Off-duty education is highly encouraged. Make the time to be a smarter person each and every day. Never stop learning.
Expertise. Be brilliant in the basics. Never forget what you learned at boot camp or OCS. Those qualities, traits, and principles will apply throughout your entire career. Professionalism, high ethical standards, discipline, and precision are crucial to our being a force in readiness. We must all strive to be experts in our MOS. We will maintain proficiency in our basic skills, namely to shoot, move, communicate, and perform first aid. In addition, we will cross-train with other related MOSs in order to become more versatile and well-rounded MAGTF Marines and Sailors.
Aggressiveness. Marines are fearless in the face of adversity and are all trained to be leaders. Always be willing to take charge and accept responsibility. Never pass up an opportunity to lead and set the example. Your individual ability is much more important than your rank.
Constant self-improvement. Maintain a sound mind and sound body. Every day, week, month, and year we must get better at what we do. Never be satisfied with the status quo. This applies to conduct, approach to duty, physical fitness, and all other areas of Marine Corps life. We must continually exceed expectations and raise standards.
Trust. Loyalty, respect, and selfless service must flow down the chain of command as much as it flows up. This is not my battalion—it is our battalion. We all have a stake in the final outcome. It is absolutely essential that we trust the Marines and Sailors we work with. Our success absolutely depends on it. This trust is rooted in mutual respect, the treatment of others with dignity, and taking care of one another.
Initiative. Initiative must be present at all levels. Never wait until you are told to do something before you act. If it makes sense, do it. If you see something that is broken, fix it. I will rely heavily on junior officers and NCOs in this area. Those whom we provide support are counting on us. Make sure they have confidence in our ability to deliver timely support. They expect us to be completely proficient at our jobs and to understand things from their point of view. Lean into the problem and do your best to provide what these units need before they even have a chance to ask for it.
Operational mindset. We are all expeditionary warriors. There is no other reason for Marines to exist. We must maintain a combat focus, plan ahead, possess the ability to operate effectively in any environment, and act without hesitation.
Never, never, never quit. Marines and Sailors will always be called upon during times of crisis. These are the lives we chose and we will always face tough challenges. Our country and the American people expect us to be at our best and they demand 100% effort from us each and every day. Always be ready. Always be vigilant. Never let anything stand in the way of mission accomplishment. Failure is never an option.
During the time we serve together, you owe me your best effort. I owe you the same. Specifically, I owe you firm, fair leadership, I will tell you what I expect of you, I will provide you the tools with which you do your job, and I will care for you and your families.
Finally, keep everything in the proper context and perspective. We will work hard but will also play hard. Although our business is serious, never take yourself too seriously. Have fun, maintain a sense of humor, and enjoy life. Don’t forget to take care of yourself and your family. Your Marine Corps career is only a short portion of a lengthy journey and you must think long-term. We’re all mature adults. Act that way and I’ll treat you as such. Be safe and be smart. Be the Marine or Sailor you’re expected to be.
Lieutenant Colonel George W. Markert, U.S. Marine Corps