If marines are not allowed or expected to use what

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their Marines’ professional growth. If Marines are not allowed or expected to use what they have learned, mastery of what has been taught in our schoolhouses may not occurInterferenceInterference occurs when new information competes with lessons that are being taught or that were previously learned. If a Marine has too many obstacles they become distracted, making it difficult or impossible to learn or even recall instructions. Small unit leaders must know theirMarines well enough to identify actions that may be the result of such interference and assist the Marinewith removing the interference.• Assistance may be in the form of a simple reminder or may require more remedial effortsSelf-sustaining MarineThese are Marines headed toward successful enlistment, who are capable of aiding others in sustainment.At-risk MarineAn at-risk Marine is headed for first- term, non-expiration of active service (EAS) attrition.• Their actions and attitudes conflict with institutional values• They may begin to display discontent for any and all authority.TYPES OF OBSTACLESObstacles to sustainment vary from unit to unit and are therefore difficult to define for the entire Corps. Generally, an obstacle is anything that detracts from a unit’s ability to establish a productive environment for its Marines. These obstacles to the transformation weigh heavily at key decision points in a Marine’s career and can mean the difference between being at risk or self-sustaining.To provide a productive environment, leaders must commit to identifying obstacles and determining howthey can be overcome.
Obstacles to sustaining a Marine’s transformation can be categorized as either reality-based or perception-basedREALITY-BASED OBSTACLESReality-based obstacles are the result of internal friction encountered by and attributed to individual units, or they can be systemic to the Marine Corps and therefore outside the small unit’s control. These obstacles may or may not be widespread throughout the Marine Corps, but they are significant to the units that encounter them. Reality-based obstacles are typically overcome through good leadership and policy change.REALITY-BASED OBSTACLESInsufficient ContactCommands often fail to monitor the progress of Marines assigned to temporary duties away from the command. Too often these Marines return to their units feeling isolated from other members of the unit.While Marines are away from the unit, leadership should make an effort to visit or contact them on a regular basis—find out what they are doing, identify if they need anything, and let them know what is going on in the unit. Keep them connected to the teamREALITY-BASED OBSTACLESFailure to Understand Individual Impact on Unit SuccessSome Marines fail to make the connection between group objectives and the command’s mission. Failingto understand the impact they have on the operation of the unit causes them to disassociate from the unit.

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