The Marine Corps maintains PME and training programs that prepare Marines for operating across the range of military operations (ROMO) and equip them with the skills to meet the challenges of life as a Marine. Education curricula are designed to strengthen individual values, develop leaders of character, expand a Marine’s thinking about how to employ naval expeditionary power and improve the Marine Corps’ operational capability and warfighting effectiveness. In a multi-domain, distributed operations environment, the key to success on the battlefield is to develop critical thinkers and creative problem solvers at all levels. To that end, the Marine Corps is incorporating the information operations environment into PME curricula and revising enlisted PME to better prepare noncommissioned and staff noncommissioned officers for the increased decision making challenges of the future battlefield.
Marine Corps PME programs consist of resident and nonresident instruction, professional self-study and the CMC’s Professional Reading Program. PME educates Marines, by grade, along a continuum, regardless of military occupational specialty. PME programs foster critical thinking, decision-making and creative problem solving skills through a balance of directed readings, guest lectures, historical case studies, war games, small-group discussions, military
planning exercises and shared experiences.
Enlisted Professional Military Education (EPME)
EPME provides a continuum of education for enlisted Marines, lance corporal through sergeant major, to improve leadership skills, sharpen critical and creative thinking skills, and deepen Marines’ understanding of warfighting concepts in distributed and joint environments. Six regional staff noncommissioned officer academies (SNCOA) conduct resident education programs. The goal of EPME is to create ethical, professional leaders who make sound and timely decisions in complex operational situations.
Enlisted curricula are being constantly revised to ensure resident and distance programs are coordinated, relevant, and meet the needs of the operating forces. The curricula of both the resident and nonresident education programs will continue to address joint and MAGTF proficiency and naval expeditionary operations in all the core warfighting functions.
College of Distance Education and Training
The CDET is responsible for the design, development, delivery and management of electronic training courses and products that meet critical training and educational requirements. Distance education and training are facilitated by the Marine Distance Learning Network (MarineNet), which is the learning management system and infrastructure. MarineNet courseware facilitates career progression and expedites the training process by granting rapid online course enrollments and completions.
CDET has fielded 42 learning resource centers to the major bases and stations and increased MarineNet courseware functionality to multiple operating system and browser combinations. Current electronic courseware products provide training and education for:
CDET continues to offer blended seminar PME distance-education programs for Expeditionary
Warfare School (EWS) and Command and Staff College. This innovative approach combines distance learning with short-duration residency instruction at Quantico, Camp Pendleton, Camp Lejeune, Okinawa, or Hawaii (EWS only). Students interact with a unique blend of instructors, peers and international officers in an experience second only to attending a resident school at Quantico.
Additionally, CDET has developed MarineNet courses to prepare Marines for resident EPME at a SNCOA or participation in a nonresident seminar located at one of the Marine Corps University’s (MCU) eight regional campuses.
Regional, Culture, and Language Familiarization
The Language, Regional Expertise and Culture Pre-deployment Training Program (LREC PTP) provides standards-based training to units preparing to deploy to any region of the world. The program, which supports up to 70,000 Marines each year, is designed to provide flexibility with regard to a unit’s specific mission and its engagement with partner, neutral or adversary populations. The Center for Advanced Operational Culture and Language (CAOCL) oversees implementation of both the LREC PTP and the Regional, Culture and Language Familiarization (RCLF) Program.
Units are trained to use LREC knowledge about the operational environment during tactical engagements and during planning/orders development. Language training is practical and designed to support Marines by teaching key words and phrases in combination with culture general skills. To support LREC training, CAOCL deploys mobile training teams that possess a combination of academic and operational expertise.
The RCLF Program is a career-long education curriculum designed to introduce, develop, and sustain a foundation of LREC skills and concepts for career Marines. By design, the LREC PTP and RCLF Program are complementary.
Recognizing the importance of LREC to current and future operations, the Commandant of the Marine Corps designated RCLF an integral component to both officer and enlisted PME. The RCLF Program bases its curriculum on a core of “culture general”concepts which are common to all cultures and are transferrable from area to area. These concepts and abilities facilitate the understanding of—and integration with—other cultures, both military and civilian. General skills are reinforced through regional and cultural specific knowledge as well as basic language familiarization. With its distribution of regional assignments, the RCLF curriculum provides commanders with competent, culturally informed Marines capable of operating around the globe.
Expanded Studies Capability
In 2016, MCU established the Brute Krulak Center for Innovation and Creativity (BKCIC). In the near term, the Center will focus on incorporating the information operations environment into curricula at all levels. The BKCIC has an important role in ensuring MCU’s curricula and strategic studies are current and relevant to the future operating environment.
MCU will continue to broaden its research by publishing on areas of significance to the Marine Corps, the Nation, and on issues associated with strategic assessments, regional security, diplomacy, alliance relations, technological and military developments, and U.S. foreign policy. A major component of these efforts will be outreach to other services’ PME institutions, civilian academic programs, and research institutes.