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Research guide about and for Marine Corps Non-Commissioned officers (NCOs). Articles, books and online resources on leadership principles, NCO history, character traits, who's who in the USMC, USMC reading list for enlisted Marines, and more.
Last Updated: Feb 21, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Noncommissioned Officers of the Marine Corps

[W]e will not just ensure “Every Marine is a Rifleman,” we will emphasize combat leadership, knowledge, and proficiency throughout the continuum of training and education for our NCOs and staff NCOs, in addition to their military occupational specialty (MOS). We must ensure both PME and MOS skill development are modernized and designed to reach our entire officer population, regardless of opportunity to attend resident education, and the core knowledge and abilities are adequately acquired in any venue.

~General Conway. Vision & Strategy 2025.

"Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity."

~General Patton, Jr. July 1941


Select Books on NCO History

Cover Art
Backbone - Julia Dye
Call Number: VE23.D93 2011
ISBN: 9781849085489
Publication Date: 2011-11-22
Explore the cadre of non-commissioned officers that make up the Marine Corps' system of small unit leadership. Examine the 14 leadership traits embraced by every NCO. To assemble this extraordinary chronicle, the author interviewed dozens of Marines and mined the trove of historical and modern NCO heroes that comprise the Marine Corps' astonishing legacy.

Cover Art
Long Hard Road: NCO Experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq - US Army Sergeants Major Academy
Call Number: DS371.413 .L66 2007
Publication Date: 2007-10
This work highlights the stories of NCOs who had already deployed to either Operation Enduring Freedom or Operation Iraqi Freedom. A wide range of topics have been chosen to allow the reader to understand the preparations, training, and actions needed for NCOs to accomplish their missions

Cover Art
Marines Dodging Death - Robert A. Simonsen (Editor)
Call Number: VE24 .M37 2009
ISBN: 9780786438211
Publication Date: 2008-12-12
The book, inspired by the author's close call in May 1968, details individual experiences in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Personal background from before and after the close calls provides a more human facet while additional research adds historical information to stories of Marines and Navy Corpsmen.

Cover Art
Uncommon Men - John C. Chapin; Alfred M. Gray (Foreword by)
Call Number: VE23 .C43 1993
ISBN: 0942597451
Publication Date: 1993-02-01
New insights into the senior command levels of the United States fighting elite. Stories include accounts of men in battles from World War II. This book fills a void in the literature of Marine Corps leadership. Supplying the biographies of the first eleven men to hold the title of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Uncommon Men offers new insights into the senior command levels of the United States' fighting elite. This book portrays not only the lives of those pioneers, but also gives us a social history of the Corps since 1942.

Cover Art
United States Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipients - George B. Clark (Editor)
Call Number: VE495.3 .U53 2005
ISBN: 9780786422715
Publication Date: 2005-08-01
This reference provides an alphabetical listing of all United States Marines and their comrades of the United States Navy who were awarded the Medal of Honor from 1861 to the present. A preface traces the evolution of the medal, its rewards, and its requirements. Each entry includes biographical information, the actions that earned the award, and other details.


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Leadership Principles

  1. Know yourself and seek self-improvement.

  2. Be technically and tactically proficient.

  3. Develop a sense of responsibility among your subordinates.

  4. Make sound and timely decisions.

  5. Set the example.

  6. Know your Marines and look out for their welfare.

  7. Keep your Marines informed.

  8. Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.

  9. Ensure assigned tasks are understood, supervised, and accomplished.

  10. Train your Marines as a team.

  11. Employ your command in accordance with its capabilities

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