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Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

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Core Values University: Creating a Campus for Marines

By Cpl. Asia J. Sorenson | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | February 29, 2016


The role of Marine Corps leadership includes training not just for the battlefield, but also to take responsibility for the personal and professional development of subordinates.

The Core Values University is Col. Joseph A. Craft’s plan to make this easier for all levels of Marine leadership. 

“We want to create a campus idea here on base so when a Marine has something that they want to improve upon they know exactly where to go, when to go and who to contact to get what they need,” said Col. Joseph A. Craft, Commanding Officer, Headquarters and Support Battalion. “We also want to be able to give them credit for doing it and give us a chance to see if those things are actually helping.”

Craft said that there are many resources out there for Marines; this process is just a way to streamline the information for them.

“Core Values University is a planning concept to get everyone together with one plan for how we’re going to provide resources to Marines that a Marine can easily navigate through,” said Craft.

CVU breaks the resources down into six areas: fidelity, fighter, fitness, family, finances and future. Each area has a list of classes and resources, some even go a step further by providing childcare which allows Marines to attend during off-hour times and with their spouses.

“I like to have a three year plan so that when you leave here, across those six F’s, you’re just great in every area,” said Craft.  

A Marine is typically assigned to Headquarters and Support Battalion for an average of three years. Each year has specific goals and plans which build upon one another and allow the Marine to move forward into their next stage of life. 

H&S Battalion assigns a focus on each of the six F’s to different months throughout the year and encourages leaders throughout the battalion to teach their junior Marines on the topic.

"When my NCOs can address the issues that we see across the six F's by pointing to a specific resource and the Marine can go there, confidently, and know that good things are going to happen, that's a success," said Craft.

February’s focus is on Finances. To better equip the Marines to handle any financial problems, whether their own or that of their subordinates, the battalion has provided a number of resources including a Budgeting Guidebook, Debt Snowball Plan and information on classes available throughout the base designed to assist Marines in need.  

At this stage, CVU is a concept, but one that Craft hopes will improve the lives of his Marines and, one day, the Marine Corps as a whole.

"Success will be realized in phases, over time,” said Craft. “ I think we've already experienced some success by virtue of the fact that we've created a culture within the command that understands the need  for leaders to connect their Marines to resources and to follow through and make sure those resources are having the impact we're hoping them to have."