What kind of commander does the Marine Corps want? The significance of this question cannot be overstated. Officers selected for O-5 command have immediate and career-long effects on the hundreds of Marines in their units, consequently impacting the quality of the force for years after command is relinquished. More critical, these battalion and squadron commanders are personally charged with building the warfighting capability and combat readiness of Marine Corps forces deployed across the globe. As the Marine Corps transforms itself to more thoroughly integrate with the Navy and develop naval expeditionary forces, the best leaders are needed in command positions. Finally, O-5 command is all but a prerequisite for continued promotion and command at more senior levels. Very few lieutenant colonels not selected for O-5 command are promoted to colonel, and none who fail selection for O-6 command are promoted to the general officer ranks.
1. MAJ Brian Kerg, USMC, “Marine Corps Professional Military Education (PME) Equivalency: Marine Corps Resident and Non-Resident Intermediate PME Seen through Promotions and Command,” Research Report for the Air Staff College, Air University: Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, 2018, 30.