Marine Corps will reinvent itself 'to reflect America,' top general says

Marine Corps will reinvent itself 'to reflect America,' top general says

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A top general for the Marine Corps says the force is working to reinvent itself in an attempt “to reflect America” and the current values embraced by society today.

The remarks on an overhaul to address diversity and troop retainment in the Marine Corps were made by Gen. David Berger, commandant of the Marine Corps, in an interview with NPR’s Morning Edition.

Marine Corps Commandant General David Berger testifies before the Senate Appropriations Committee in the Dirksen Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill on June 24, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

According to Berger, Marines will work “to reflect America, to reflect the society we come from,” adding that the decision is not one related to being “woke” or politically correct.

“Our advantage militarily is on top of our shoulders,” Berger said. “It’s not actually our equipment. We are better than anybody else, primarily because we don’t all think exactly alike. We didn’t come from the same backgrounds.”

In his new plan, dubbed Talent Management 2030, Berger outlines how the force will work to improve recruitment efforts and increase career flexibility.

“The most important element of this report is the individual Marine,” Berger stated in the document. “Transitioning to a talent management system will enable us to better harness and develop the unique skills and strengths of our Marines, improve the performance of our units in competition and combat, and ensure that we remain ‘most ready when the Nation is least ready,’ today and into the future.”

General David Berger, Commandant of the US Marine Corps. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP)
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

The new plan will also work to ensure that the corps, as a whole, is “more intelligent, physically fit, cognitively mature, and experienced.”

“The capabilities that we think we’re going to need are a force that’s able to operate much more distributed, much more spread out than perhaps we’re accustomed to in the past, using a different set of technologies than we had five or 10 or 15 years ago,” he said.

A USMC Marine assists a woman and child during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan.
(Department of Defense)

Physical fitness is also a focus in the plan, noting that boot camp will work to implement the “the same challenge for officers and for Officer Candidate School.” Berger also noted that the change would take time and will not happen overnight.

“We are a purely combat force,” he said. “We were built under a different set of circumstances, but that is changing.”

An estimated 75% of troops leave the Marine Corps following their first four-year term.

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