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When Dave Berke was a kid, he imagined himself flying an F-18 off an aircraft carrier.

By the time he retired as a US Marine officer in 2016, he had not only done that, but he’d also flown an F-16, F-22, and F-35, taught at the elite Top Gun fighter pilot school, and served a year on the ground alongside Navy SEALs in the 2006 Battle of Ramadi as a forward air controller.

Today he’s a member of Echelon Front, a leadership consulting firm started by two of those SEALs, Task Unit Bruiser commander Jocko Willink and one of his platoon commanders, Leif Babin.

Berke has spent the past year sharing lessons from his 23-year military career, and we asked him what insights were at the heart of his leadership philosophy. He shared with us two lessons he learned as a teenager, long before he ever saw combat.

 

 

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In March 1966, a Marine sergeant named Earl Peterson arrived in Morenci, a town in southeastern Arizona. Home to the largest copper mine in the United States, Morenci is a company town, at the time owned almost completely by the Phelps Dodge Corporation. Practically every man in Morenci worked for the mine, and every boy knew that his future lay in its depths.

Soon after Peterson arrived, Helen Arnold, an English teacher at the town’s small public school, announced a pop quiz. Unprepared, the class breathed a sigh of relief when the principal said that anyone meeting with Peterson could skip the test. Immediately, volunteers ran out, almost trampling each other.

Not long after listening to the sergeant’s well-developed recruiting pitch promising adventure and an escape from a future toiling in the mine, nine young men signed up, including eight members of the Class of 1966. Bobby Draper hesitated, but came along after his friends taunted, “Come on Draper, you’re gutless. Let’s go join the Marines.”

 

 

 

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Sailors man small boats near the amphibious transport ship USS Green Bay following an aviation mishap of an MV-22 Osprey, which caused the aircraft to enter the water off the coast of Australia.

The sunken wreckage of an American military aircraft has been located two days after it crashed off the east coast of Australia andleft three US Marines presumed dead, Australia’s defense minister said.

The MV-22 Osprey — a hybrid helicopter-turboprop with a history of deadly incidents — went down Saturday off Shoalwater Bay in Queensland state.

Defense Minister Marise Payne confirmed that the Australian navy ship HMAS Melville found the aircraft overnight Sunday, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“The Australian Defence Force has commenced its support to US-led recovery operations following the MV-22 Osprey incident in Shoalwater Bay on Saturday,” according to a statement by Payne.

 

 

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A U.S. Marine MV-22 Osprey aircraft landing on the deck of the U.S.S. Bonhomme Richard in June. Officials suspended the search for three missing Marines early Sunday morning, about 11 hours after the Osprey they were in crashed into the water. CreditPool photo by Jason Reed

Three missing United States marines were officially declared dead and their identities were released on Monday, two days after their aircraft crashed into the water off eastern Australia.

They were named as Lt. Benjamin R. Cross, 26, of Oxford, Me.; Cpl. Nathaniel F. Ordway, 21, of Sedgwick, Kan.; and Pfc. Ruben P. Velasco, 19, of Los Angeles.

“The loss of every Marine is felt across our entire Marine Corps family,” said Col. Tye R. Wallace, the commanding officer of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit based in Okinawa, Japan, to which the aircraft was assigned. “To the families of the brave Marines we lost — there is no way for us to understand what you are going through.”

 

 

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Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller speaks during an all-hands call aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, in the Coral Sea. Neller announced new leadership guidelines in July.
COSMO WALRATH/STARS AND STRIPES

GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — New guidelines for Marine leadership emphasize coaching and constant interaction between subordinates and leaders, a Marine official said Wednesday.

The new Marine Leader Development guideline issued recently by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller replaces the Marine Corps Mentoring Program, which had been in place since 2006. The MCMP was criticized for being overly formal and for a one-size-fits-all approach to mentoring.

The guideline outlines priorities such as family, fitness and finances, but does not prescribe exactly what to say or do regarding each area. This allows leaders to tailor the way they mentor Marines to suit the situation.

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The U.S. Marine Corps has a new 3-D printed drone and they’ve given it a name: Nibbler.

The drone, which appears to be similar to many civilian models, can be assembled by a Marine in only six hours and can be controlled by either a tablet, a smartphone, or a radio controller.

Nibbler has the ability to perform a wide variety of missions, including conducting surveillance, gathering intelligence, carrying ammunition, or being the last thing an enemy may see as it drops ordinance.

 

 

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The Marine Corps is investigating after a third recruit in a little over a year was injured Wednesday in a fall from a building at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

A recruit assigned to Support Battalion at Parris Island’s Recruit Training Regiment fell from the roof of a one-story building and was transported to an off-site medical facility, said Capt. Adam Flores, a spokesman for the depot.

The recruit had arrived at Parris Island just the day before and was undergoing initial processing requirements when the incident occurred. Recruits are assigned to Support Battalion prior to beginning training at one of the depot’s four recruit training battalions.

A source with knowledge of the incident said the recruit appeared to have jumped. The source added that the recruit was airlifted to a medical facility in Savannah, Georgia, though the medical status of the recruit is unclear.

“The command has directed an investigation regarding this incident per standard operating procedures,” Flores said in a statement. “The command is currently focused on the recruit’s health and is in close coordination with the family.”

 

 

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In an unexpected move, President Trump announced on Twitter that his Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was out and former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is in. USA TODAY

Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, President Trump’s choice to replace Reince Priebus as chief of staff, is a retired Marine general and combat leaderwho will now face the challenge of bringing order to a White House staff mired in chaos.

Kelly has the skills to impose needed discipline in the White House, say those who know him.

“Whether or not he will be successful depends on his relationship with the president and it seems like that relationship is okay,” said Carl Fulford, a retired Marine Corps four-star general.

“I don’t think he is going to put up with expletives coming from people who want to see their name in the paper,” Fulford said.

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With a next generation radar system, a mobile radio antenna, and a Humvee packed with servers, the Marine Corps is introducing a brand new command and control (C2) system that is much faster, more accurate and mobile than its predecessors.

The new C2 system has been in tested in  May and June at the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, NC, according to the Marine Corps. Since the successful conclusion of those tests, the air station’s Marine Air Control Squadron 2 (MACS-2) has become the first unit to officially transition to the next generation system.

“As it stands right now, in our air C2 agencies we have the air situation picture well developed. But what is absent is an integrated depiction of the ground picture,” said Col. Rey Masinsin, Program Manager for Air Command and Control and Sensor Netting, in a recent Marine Corps Program Executive Office for Land Systems statement. “So what we deliver in CAC2S capability is the combination of the ground picture and the air picture so that we can better develop synergies between the two.”

 

 

 

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A new boot authorized for purchase at Marine Corps Exchange stores has proven to be so popular that it has sold out.

The Danner Reckoning 8-inch Coyote Hot boot has been authorized for purchase and wear by Marines, said Barbara Hamby, a spokeswoman for Marine Corps Systems Command. The boot is not a seabag issue.

The initial order of 655 pairs of boots quickly sold out after becoming available in West Coast exchanges starting on June 28 and East Coast exchanges starting on July 18, said Bryan Driver, a spokesman for Marine Corps Exchange.

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