Commandant Gen. Robert Neller has some big challenges ahead as the Marine Corps figures out how best to integrate women into direct ground combat units and maintain readiness with constrained budgets at a time of high operational tempo.

Neller intends to keep the planning guidance of Gen. Joseph Dunford, who was commandant for little more than a year before he was tapped to take over as chairman of the Joint Chiefs. Early in 2016, however, Neller will add a fragmentation order, or FragO, to that guidance .

Still, the new boss is already making some big changes.early in 2016

Topping that list is a full review of the service's fitness and body composition standards. Driven by comments from the rank and file, Neller said he wants to ensure the fitness program is the best it can be, and that its various components are "working in concert.

He also has his sights on reducing alcohol-related incidents and is expected to announce details of a new initiative shortly into the new year.

Gen. Robert B. Neller, commandant of the Marine Corps, speaks to Marines, sailors and civilians on Oct. 5 at Camp Pendleton, Calif. Neller outlined the Corps current priorities and expectations, and answered Marines' questions.

Photo Credit: Sgt. Gabriela Garcia/Marine Corps

Neller will also have to weigh in on new security procedures for recruiters in the wake of the deadly attack on a recruiting station and Navy Reserve Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Navy's investigative report and recommendations are expected in late 2015.

In late September, shortly after taking the helm, Neller released a message in which he said Marines must continue to adapt to "new and different forms of warfare" in order to maintain the tactical advantage.

"We must know how we will operationally apply our capabilities, but also study and be aware of how they will apply their capabilities against us," Neller wrote.

He also emphasized the need for relational leadership and personal integrity during a worldwide tour of Marine bases.

Every Marine should expect from their leaders: firm and fair leadership with dignity and respect; accountability; the highest professional and personal example; realistic and challenging training; cutting-edge technology in weapons and equipment; professional advancement; support for families and wounded; honesty, integrity and loyalty; and compassion.

Conversely, leaders should expect from their Marines: 100 percent dedication; technical and tactical proficiency; physical, moral and mental fitness; accountability; care for weapons and equipment; initiative to overcome adversity; truth; striving to reach set goals; and trust.

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