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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

"The West Coast's Premier Expeditionary Training Base"

Camp Pendleton personnel train in Lean Six Sigma

By Cpl. Shaltiel Dominguez | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | August 31, 2015

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Camp Pendleton is offering monthly and quarterly Lean Six Sigma courses for civilian Marines and service members providing them with organizational framework, project methodology and performance improvement tools to help units meet goals.

Lean Six Sigma concepts are part of continuous process improvement methods introduced by the Marine Corps in 2006.

“I wish we had a program like this when I was a noncommissioned officer,” said Ray Sutton, management analyst with Marine Corps Installations-West. “The course puts Marines in a position where they’re responsible for both project processes and people. In our current environment, we have limited manpower and resources and the course teaches Marines to accomplish the mission more efficiently with less.”

The program consists of two complementary tools. Lean focuses on removing wasteful processes to increase quality, process speed and efficiency, and Six Sigma uses statistics to reduce defects in processes and reduce the variation in the outputs. Similar to the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, Lean Six Sigma offers different levels of courses, or belts, for personnel who are interested. 

The white belt course is taken through the Navy Knowledge Online website and provides basic information about the different concepts behind Lean Six Sigma. The yellow belt course is a one-day program offered once a month, where Marines are taught different concepts and run practical applications.

Those that choose to learn advanced tools in the green belt course can do so through a five-day class held once every quarter. Black belt training is also available for Marines in more advanced project management positions.

“At any level of leadership, it gives people a new awareness on how to look at their job processes,” said Michael Bostrom, continuous process improvement coordinator with MCI-West. “For noncommissioned officers and above, there’s the yellow belt and green belt courses which provide them with tools to observe, analyze and improve on job processes which in turn can allow them accomplish their missions more efficiently.”

Lean Six Sigma also provides Marines with tools necessary to take on management positions when they transition into civilian life.

“Anytime you’re able to put project experience where you made improvements in cycle time, productivity or cost reduction, or simply show that you are green belt trained goes a long way when you’re applying for companies which look for that experience in their applicants,” said Bostrom.

The next green belt course is offered on Oct. 19 – 24. For more information on other available Lean Six Sigma courses on the Business Performance Office website: www.pendleton.marines.mil/StaffAgencies/BusinessPerformanceOffice.aspx


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