Detachment Commandant is the most important office in the Marine
Corps League. This leadership position accounts for the membership
levels, programs, and the manner in which the League is viewed by
Marines, members and prospective members, and the citizens of the
community. With effective leadership in this office, the Detachment and
the entire League will be successful based on the results of the
Detachment. Success and
achievement begets recognition, and a growing membership.
Proven leadership and
skills with members, the community, other Marine Corps League
organizations, and the Marine Corps
Ability to establish
mutually agreed upon objectives, plan and direct, and articulate and
promote strategies within sphere of influence
Ability to recognize and
Willingness to delegate
tasks and responsibilities, while controlling and managing results
Clear understanding of
financial and fiscal requirements
capability for ceremonies, meetings, presentations, and for fund raising
Experience and/or clear
understanding of subordinate officer duties and responsibilities
Flexible thinking --
acceptance of dissent in to discussion and plans
Ability to run concise,
Commitment to training,
education, and support to improve Detachment job skill levels
Selfless approach to
meeting Detachment objectives
Commitment to the purposes
of the League, and objectives of the Detachment
Ability to lead and work
as a team
of Job Accountability and Responsibilities
- The first and most
important job of the Commandant is to lead.
In doing so, he/she sets an example for other officers, and the
Detachment members. Leading
also requires that tasks and accountabilities (along with authority) be
delegated to subordinate officers and members.
However, the ultimate responsibility for accountabilities still
rests with the Commandant. In leading, it is important to continually assess results,
and assist/support subordinates in removing obstacles to their completing
their delegated tasks.
AT MEETINGS - The
Commandant should be reasonably well versed in Roberts Rules of Order
and the Ritual of the Marine Corps League in conduct of meetings.
Meetings should be concise, orderly, and allow relevant information
to be presented that represents different points of view. The Commandant
controls the meetings with the assistance of the Sergeant-at-Arms.
The manner in which a meeting is run will have a significant impact
on attendance, participation, and promoting the Detachment.
Commandant is also called on to chair officer and/or committee meetings,
in addition to general membership meetings. The meeting results are
directly proportional to the focus of topics, control, timeliness, and
decisions relative to views presented.
agenda is helpful for meetings, which should be developed and/or approved
by the Commandant. During the business portion of the meeting, it is
important to focus on business, though a little humor can keep matters in
perspective. Socializing is
best done before and after.
EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF THE DETACHMENT - As
an incorporated entity within the state, the Commandant is CEO of the
Board of Trustees and the Detachment. As such, he/she is responsible, as a
corporate officer, for the activities, financial standing, and image
portrayed in the community and the League.
PUBLIC RELATIONS - The Commandant is looked to by the League, the members and
Board of Trustees, and the community as the primary contact and promoter
of Detachment events and community/Marine Corps activities.
Public relations includes direct meetings, media contact, and
appearance at appropriate civic and military events. The leader of an
organization, by virtue of his/her position, will be the primary provider
of information, the primary representative of the Detachment at functions,
and the primary salesman for the League and Detachment.
AND DEVELOPMENT OF PROGRAMS - Just
as a newly elected President has ideas and programs that he/she promotes
to get elected, so too should the Commandant have ideas and programs that
will improve Detachment operations, and enhance the capabilities/results
of achieving goals. Also, just as a President needs to sell the ideas to
Congress, and compromise where appropriate to achieve the best program for
all constituents, so too the Commandant must articulate, sell, and
compromise where appropriate, promote programs and objectives with
Detachment members and the Board of Trustees.
most important element of achieving this task is developing a written
plan/strategy for each program and idea, discussing the merits and
weaknesses, and agreeing on a direction. Other officers and members will also have ideas and programs,
but it is the ultimate responsibility of the Commandant to lead the way in
development and initiation.
OF COMMITTEES TO CARRY OUT DETACHMENT BUSINESS
- There are few reasons to appoint
a committee: To bring together varied skills and perspectives to
study/solve a problem or evaluate an idea; to plan, initiate, and
accomplish a given task or program; to involve members in an legitimate
activity who might otherwise not volunteer.
items to consider in setting up a committee (which will be discussed in a
later section) are: Determine if the purpose clearly needs a committee, or
can the situation be handled by making one individual accountable; make
sure a committee is not formed to delay action on solving a problem;
clearly define the results expected of the committee, and establish a start
and end date, at which time the committee will be dissolved; select
a committee chairman who has strong leadership and meeting skills to
reduce the time and effort to achieve results.
are adages about committees - A committee is comprised of the unwilling,
formed by the unfit, to do the unnecessary; and, a camel is the result of
a committee trying to design a horse -- so it behooves the Commandant to
assure the necessity, bring together the qualified skills, and describe
time targeted expected results. Because
committees are formed and authorized by the Commandant, he/she is
ultimately responsible for the result.
FOR FISCAL STABILITY AND FINANCIAL PROCEDURES
The financial well being of the
Detachment is a significant target for the Commandant, and the Board of
Trustees and officers of the Detachment.
The first concern is for the financial integrity and credibility of
the Detachment - the proper channeling and use of funds (i.e. if funds are
generated for a charitable purpose, they are used for that purpose).
The Commandant is ultimately responsible for the fiduciary nature
of the finances for the Detachment.
takes money to operate a Detachment, and more money to support programs,
events, and activities. Of importance to Detachment operations is communications with
members, prospective members and the community - normally done by means of
a newsletter (postage and printing costs). To support Detachment
activities, Color Guards, and charitable causes, the Detachment will have
to look to outside donations and fund raisers.
The solicitation of donations is an important job of the Commandant
- he/she is the point man for contacting personal and corporate
donors. (Additional coverage
will be given in a later section).
integrity, image, membership level, and ability to support events are
often directly proportional to the size of the treasury, and the way in
which it is managed. Every
Commandant needs to understand sources of revenues, expense control, cash
flow, profit and loss, and balance sheet data - and be assured that
financial procedures provide an audit trail to support inquiries.
Commandant should be one of two signers on Detachment checking and
monetary accounts (the other being the Paymaster).
The Commandant and Paymaster are bonded by MCL National.
BY THE BY-LAWS AND POLICIES OF THE MARINE CORPS LEAGUE
- The Commandant must set the
example for the other officers and members of the Detachment.
Having sworn to uphold the principles and laws of the League, the
Commandant, as should every officer, must be familiar with the By-Laws and
Policies prescribed by MCL National, the Department, and the Detachment.
All policies and bylaws must be compatible, and cannot be in
violation of National by-laws and policies.
By-Laws and Policies of the League, Department, and Detachment are the
guiding principles under which the various organizations operate.
Laws and rules are established as a framework for operations, and
entitlement under the law. The
Commandant is ultimately held accountable for adherence to by-laws and
policies, and therefore must assure that the Detachment and its members
are in compliance.
AWARDS - The
Detachment Commandant has the authority and opportunity to recognize
members, non-member citizens of the community, and companies for service
and achievements in support of Detachment/League objectives.
The Distinguished Service
Medal, Distinguished Service Certificate, Distinguished Citizenship Medal,
Certificate of Appreciation, and others are ways to acknowledge
support, performance, citizenship and patriotism.
Commandant may want to have assistance from the Board of Trustees, or an
Awards Committee, but may act on his/her own to show appreciation for
support and achievement. For
instance, contributors to Toys for Tots or other Detachment programs can
be thanked, and encouraged to participate again. Service by members who have done more than expected can be
rewarded. In addition, the press/media can be informed to provide
additional visibility to the Detachment and its programs.
OF NEW DETACHMENTS A ND OTHER DETACHMENTS WITHIN THE
- It is the duty and responsibility of the Commandant to
promulgate the concept of the League.
While every Detachment is concerned and interested in developing
its membership and programs, and wanting to take honors for being the best
and most uniquely qualified Detachment in the League, there is a larger
responsibility to all Marines and all Leaguers.
Commandant needs to be aware of areas where Marines live, where meeting
locations are not conducive to participation by these Marines, and/or
where there are enough Marines to generate interest in the Marine Corps
League organization. The
Commandant and Detachment members have an obligation to fellow Marines to
assist in developing a Detachment to benefit these Marines.
Information in a later section describes the steps for starting a
new Detachment - but every new Detachment needs the help and support of
existing Detachments. The
important issue is bringing Marines, new members to the League.
Commandant should also be aware of the activities and programs of other
Detachments within the Department. If
a Detachment is having problems, or has questions, the Commandant leads
the way for his/her Detachment to lend a hand and help.
Similarly, we should work in an environment where teamwork is a
working concept, and feel free to call on other Detachments for ideas,
assistance and support, or general communication.
Commandant is the lead in promoting the League, whether it is for his/her
own Detachment, for other existing Detachments, or in suggesting and
assisting in the development of a new Detachment.
The name of the game is to bring new members to the organization,
and expand the Leagues support of all Marines.
- Other duties of the Commandant include:
Assuring that reports,
including membership transmittals and officer installation reports are
prepared and dispatched on a timely basis;
requests, and ascertaining that member meets the qualifications for
discussing, and taking action on reports of financial status, project
status, problems/member issues, Detachment concerns;
assistance to members or members families in distress, funeral details
and coordination with Marine or veterans units, and/or other causes
requiring Detachment/member attention;
Any situation or
circumstances that requires highest level attention within or on behalf of
Detachment Commandants position is critical to the success of the
Detachment, and to the Marine Corps League.
The ability to lead will be decisive to the success of the
Detachment. The ability to
delegate and monitor results will be crucial to time management -- getting
things done through others and achieving desired results.
To effectively promote the Detachment and League will develop
positive image and attract members. Looking
out for the best interests of Marines (of all eras, ranks, and units),
in and out of the League, is a thread, which makes this organization
unique among veterans and Marine organizations.