The Marine Corps wants to oust toxic leaders and gain more understanding about who is promoting.
To do that, in 2022 the Corps is introducing a pilot program that will have 200 Marines be put under a 360 degree review to allow the Marine’s seniors, peers and junior Marines to give feedback on performance.
The idea is the review will give more honest feedback than the current fitness report system, which limits the amount of negative feedback a Marine can formally receive and is only filled out by two of the Marine’s supervisors, who may have a biased view or have very limited interactions with them.
“Fitness reports, however, provide critically important but limited insights into a Marine’s strengths and weaknesses,” Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger wrote in the Corps’ Talent Management 2030 document, released in early November. “At present, the FITREP captures only the positive views of two supervisors who, in some cases, are not co-located with the Marine reported on or only had limited observation of them.”
The pilot program will focus on 200 field grade officers and senior enlisted Marines. The Corps will use it as a training tool, which will allow those Marines an opportunity to improve on those weaknesses.
“Our initiative is focused on providing the individual Marine with additional insight on hidden strengths and unidentified weaknesses and then to provide them coaching as they learn to address that,” Lt. Col. Jim Armstrong, who work with Marine Corps Manpower and Reserve Affairs, told reporters on Nov. 22.
In addition to helping the individual Marines improve, the review will be used in promotion and assignment boards to ensure the Corps is not promoting bad or toxic leaders who are simply good at looking good to superiors.
The pilot program will be used to zero in on the exact questions the review will ask.
If successful, the review may become a standard part of a Marine’s career.
This is an excerpt from “19 Things Marines Need To Know For 2022,” in the January print edition of Marine Corps Times.