“Talent Management” is a phrase that seems to be more consistent with a model scout than a military recruiter, but Marine Commandant General David Berger is working on making it a common military phrase for new potential recruits. It would seem that “Talent Management” may also result in some wearing the coveted Eagle Globe and Anchor of the Marine Corps without attending boot camp at Paris Island or San Diego.

If you are as confused as I am, you are likely wondering what in the world I’m referring to. Well, the Marine Corps released a new document a couple of weeks ago penned by the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General David Berger that details its recruiting and retaining strategy for the remainder of this decade. The release details new strategies for recruiting. Such as allowing those with specific Military Occupational Specialties (MOS) to circumvent Marine Corps boot camp/recruit training or for a prior-enlisted Marine (with a rank of Corporal, for example) to re-enlist into the Corps as a Gunnery Sgt.; skipping the two ranks in-between if the Marine Corps needs that former Marine’s MOS expertise.

Some of the topics of Berger’s memo include:

  • Talent Management
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Talent Management
  • Reinforcing Diversity
  • Rebalancing Recruiting and Retention to Mature the Force
  • Enhancing Assessment of Potential Recruits



Marine Commandant General Berger’s new strategy. (Headquarters Marine Corps)

Talent Management in More Detail

“A talent management system identifies an individual Marine’s talents, helps them develop those talents through education, training, mentorship, and experience, and assigns them to positions where they can best contribute to the success of their unit and the Corps. This system also identifies and rewards the most talented with tough assignments, accelerated promotions, educational opportunities, additional pay, duty station preference, and other incentives.” -Gen. Berger

I don’t disagree with this statement by General Berger. Units like Marine Recon, Army Green Beret, and Navy SEALs should rate additional pay, accelerated promotion, and other incentives as they often have the most skin in the game. I also don’t disagree with the tenets of talent management that General Berger laid out. Those are:

  • Marines are individuals, not inventory
  • Talents can be identified and evaluated
  • Talents can be developed
  • Matching talents to duties maximizes performance
  • Incentives power the system
  • There is always a boat space for talent
  • Data drives decision-making

Marines are individuals (though that may be the first time I’ve heard Marine leadership admit to it), and each Marine does possess a unique set of talents. I agree that these tenets are important, but I also believe it is important to achieve these tenets in a way that is respectful to Marine Corps tradition and to the hundreds of thousands of Marines who have already taken the traditional path into the Marine Corps.

Share This:
About Matt Hill View All Posts

More from SOFREP


There are on this article.

You must become a subscriber or login to view or post comments on this article.