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Category: SSIC 01000 Military Personnel
Number: MCO 1500.56
Subj: MARINE CORPS VALUES PROGRAM
TITLE; MARINE CORPS VALUES PROGRAM
DESIG; MCO 1500.56
C 40 OP
16 Dec 96
MARINE CORPS ORDER 1500.56
From: Commandant of the Marine Corps
To: Distribution List
Subj: MARINE CORPS VALUES PROGRAM
1. Purpose. To promulgate guidance for the implementation of
the Marine Corps Values Program.
a. Since 1775, the United States Marine Corps has served
honorably and proudly whenever and wherever our Nation has
called. Our history is replete with accounts of Marines who
have shown exceptional bravery and made extraordinary
sacrifices. Almost without exception, those accounts of heroism
and service can be described by the words "Honor, Courage, and
Commitment," our Marine Corps core values. Those three words
succinctly describe the reason Marines have always been looked
upon as a fighting force without equal, capable of exceptional
accomplishment in the face of insurmountable odds.
b. While the Marine Corps has a rich tradition of promoting
values, these values have historically been communicated in
disparate programs or in response to significant events. The
Marine Corps Values Program described in this Order will focus
and coordinate our efforts and generate a constancy of purpose
in promoting our core values.
3. Effective Date. 15 December 1996.
a. The world and society have changed significantly over the
past two decades, and we as an institution must join the battle
with America's families, churches, and schools to help instill
fundamental values in today's youth. We must ensure quality
young people continue to seek careers and serve proudly in the
honor and traditions of the Marine Corps into the next century.
16 Dec 96
b. The Marine Corps will implement a coordinated program that
will enhance transformation into U.S. Marines through a rigorous,
thorough reaffirmation of Marine Corps Values training and
education. Our goal is to continue to produce Marines who are
exemplary citizens and who will act honorably and intelligently,
whatever their situation or level of responsibilities. All Marines
are expected to epitomize that which is good about our Nation and
to personify the ideals upon which it was founded. Honor, Courage,
and Commitment are not just words; they frame the way Marines are
to live and act. There is no room in the Marine Corps for
situational ethics or situational morality.
c. Exposure to the Marine Corps Values Program will start when
a potential Marine first meets the Recruiter and subsequently while
in the Delayed Entry Program. Implementation will involve three
(1) Initial Entry Training (Phase I). Every Marine,
enlisted and officer, will be formally instructed in Marine Corps
Values during entry level training. The preponderance of the
training will occur at the Marine Corps Recruit Depots for enlisted
Marines, at Officer Candidates School and The Basic School for
(2) Reinforcement Education (Phase II). The lessons of
entry level training will be reinforced in Marine Combat Training
at the School of Infantry for all enlisted Marines. Reinforcement
training will also be presented in military occupational specialty
schools for both enlisted Marines and officers. Marine Corps Core
Values education will continue at every Professional Military
Education school which a Marine attends from the Sergeant's Course
through the Marine Corps War College. Additionally, gatherings of
Marine leaders, such as the General Officers Symposium, Commanders'
Course, and Sergeants Major Symposium will include discussions
(3) Sustainment Education (Phase III). Sustainment
education will involve not only formal presentation of course
material but will encompass awareness of the importance that
practicing Marine Corps Core Values has in each Marine's
day-to-day life. Marines should be able to see our core values
demonstrated in the daily course of events by leaders at all levels
from squad to force commander. Honor, courage, and commitment must
be a way of life in garrison and in the field, on and off duty.
Sustainment is the key to the success of the Marine Corps Values
Program. Marines in uniform today have a
16 Dec 96
moral obligation to the Marines of tomorrow to uphold the time-
honored Marine Corps values and continue the proud tradition.
Sustainment education is primarily in the hands of commanders and
Marine leaders at every level.
a. Commanding General, Marine Corps Combat Development
(1) Implement the Marine Corps Values Program.
(2) Establish a proponent for the publication and
maintenance of the Marine Corps Values program and associated tools.
(3) Incorporate Marine Corps Values instruction in all
Marine Corps formal schools.
(4) Coordinate with Marine Detachment Commanding Officers,
Officers-in-Charge, and Staff Noncommissioned Officers-in-Charge
at other service schools, attended by Marine Corps students, to
incorporate Marine Corps Values instruction for Marines.
b. The Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Reserve Affairs
shall incorporate Marine Corps Values into all manpower policies
and programs where applicable.
c. The Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command
shall incorporate Marine Corps Values into Marine Corps Recruiting
Command training programs beginning with the Delayed Entry Program.
d. Commanding Generals, Commanding Officers, and
(1) Establish a program for sustaining Marine Corps Values
education as a continuation of the program that was initiated
during recruit training.
(2) Establish a command environment in which the
leadership, role models, and examples of all that is good about
the Marine Corps are provided for both newly joined Marines and
more seasoned Marines alike.
(3) Integrate Marine Corps Values training into
organizational training plans.
16 Dec 96
(4) Publicize and reinforce Marine Corps Values
throughout the command using the Plan of the Day, media, and
publications, and other appropriate means.
a. To assist Marines at all levels in the implementation of
the Marine Corps Values Program, various "tools" have been
developed. These tools will be distributed down to the company
and detachment level. While not all inclusive, they provide a
point of departure for the development of formal lessons in
schools and reinforcement and sustainment training in units
throughout the Corps. Commanders are strongly encouraged to
tailor the Marine Corps Values Program to meet the specific
needs of each individual organization.
b. The tools to support the values program include a
Discussion Guide for Marine Corps Values, a Marine Corps Values
pocket card to be issued to all Marines, and a CMC video.
Initial issue to support program implementation will be provided
by the CG MCCDC. Resupply will be accomplished by using units
(1) The Marine Corps Values and Leadership Discussion
Leader's Guide will be available electronically by 15 December
1996. The CG MCCDC will issue an initial 5,000 paper copies
during December 1996. The Guide will be available for reorder
through the Marine Corps Publications Distribution System
(MCPDS) as a reference publication during the fourth quarter of
(2) Marine Corps Values cards may be requisitioned
through the supply system. An initial issue of cards will be
made by the CG MCCDC to all units at the battalion, squadron,
detachment level and to the Marine Corps Recruit Depots and
Officer Candidates School. Cards will be sent to recruit depots
and Officer Candidates School during early December 1996 and to
the rest of the Marine Corps during January 1997.
(3) Copies of the CMC Values Video will be sent to
base/station TAVSC's and may be locally reproduced to address
16 Dec 96
7. Reserve Applicability. This order is applicable to the
Marine Corps Reserve.
C. C. KRULAK
DISTRIBUTION: PCN 10201532600
Copy to: 7000110 (55)
7000099, 144/8145001 (1)