The Best Defense

A Marine captain lists 10 things he wishes he knew before commanding a company

Capt. Lucas Balke writes in the September issue of the Marine Corps Gazette that there are 10 things he wishes someone had told him when he was a lieutenant. (I really like "what I've learned" articles, and I also am happy to highlight this article because I've been hard on the poor old Gazette in recent years.) Here they are:

  • Plan now to command a company.
  • Start collecting PME items.
  • Read 10 pages a day.
  • Become an expert regarding one battle.
  • Start constructing your "perfect" field exercise.
  • Enable your Marines to be self-sufficient.
  • Prepare your Marines to be dismounted infantrymen.
  • Trust your NCOs.
  • Be prepared to fight tomorrow's counterinsurgency.
  • Learn to train for free.

Tom again: What do you wish you'd known before taking your current position?

National Park Service


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