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Military

By USMC SSgt. Greg Thomas

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The Marine Corps' 14 Leadership Traits – Overview
(March 2, 2011)

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U.S. MarinesOver the next few weeks, I'm going to examine the Marine Corps' 14 leadership traits. We'll take a look at what they are, define them, apply them to a Marine's life (through real-world and/or hypothetical situations), and then dive into how they can/should be applied once a Marine transitions back to civilian life.

Let's start with a broad definition of the Corps' leadership traits. They “... are qualities of thought and action which, if demonstrated in daily activities, help Marines earn the respect, confidence, and loyal cooperation of other Marines. It is extremely important that you understand the meaning of each leadership trait and how to develop it, so you know what goals to set as you work to become a good leader and a good follower.”

(Interestingly, this definition is taken from a page on an Air Force Web site. That's interesting because if you Google “marine corps leadership traits”, not a single organic Marine Corps result shows up. It's also interesting because I think guess the Air Force has figured out that we know a thing or two about leadership!)

So basically, these traits help Marines follow their leaders and, when the time comes, to be leaders of Marines. A leader who embodies these traits will have the respect of his subordinates as well as that of his peers.

The key – as I see it – is to achieve a balance among all the traits rather than concentrating solely on a couple of them.

So without further adieu, here is the list of the Marine Corps' 14 leadership traits:
  • JUSTICE
  • JUDGMENT
  • DEPENDABILITY
  • INITIATIVE
  • DECISIVENESS
  • TACT
  • INTEGRITY
  • ENTHUSIASM
  • BEARING
  • UNSELFISHNESS
  • COURAGE
  • KNOWLEDGE
  • LOYALTY
  • ENDURANCE
The acronym J.J. DID TIE BUCKLE is used by Marines to help remember these 14 leadership traits.

USMC SSgt. Greg Thomas

Reprinted from Marines Blog

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