Ethical Leadership Challenge 08-17

You are the commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, "First Afoot and Right of the Line." Your battalion sustains the legacy of Guadalcanal, Peleliu, Chosin, Northern I Corps, countless MEU deployments, Anbar Province, and the Helmand River Valley. You and your Marines have been deployed as part of the GCE of CJTF Al Ouaddiya for over three months with one company {-) out-posted in the outskirts of the city northeast of the battalion FOB (forward operating base). All of your Marines have been tested under fire, and while the fatigue and strain of the boredom, periodic mortal danger, and the loss of those comrades killed and wounded shows on them, they demonstrate the stoic endurance and dark humor that would make any veteran of the battalion's historic fights proud.

You and your sergeant major are walking through В Company's living areas the morning after the company conducted a night raid on the compound of one of the local mining gangs. Your Marines and MUGA commandos killed 18 gang members who chose to fight, capturing four who surrendered. The company also rescued three local girls who were being "trafficked" as brides among the gangs. Well-disciplined and well-trained, your Marines thoroughly exploited the site and collected four laptops and three additional hard drives with valuable information on gang finances and their extended network of support.

While cleaning weapons and optics, the Marines invite you to enjoy their "motivation wall." An area on one wall has been covered İn "pin up" pictures of scantily dressed women. Almost all of the pictures are cut from the pages of various fitness, gentlemen's, and sports magazines. The women are all impossibly good looking, but there is no nudity or blatantly sexual or suggestive poses, although you really can't be sure if some of the "swimsuit" pictures from an annual sports journal are actually swimsuits or not. All of these magazines are readily available from the "mobile PX" that the CJTF sends to the FOB weekly. In deference to the Islamic faith of the host nation, the CJTF has issued an order prohibiting public nudity and banning any "relationships" among members of the force while deployed. No locals, MUGA forces, or female members of the battalion or CJTF are permitted in this living area.

The sergeant major calls your attention to another section of the wall, a large piece of heavy-corrugated cardboard covered with a with poncho liner and labelled "HOG BOARD" İn block letters across the top. Taped to this board are personal photographs and paper printouts of digital images labeled girlfriends, ex-girlfriends, exwives, "hook-ups," and several candid pictures of women you recognize as members of the CJTF staff. All of these images have a "rating" written on them, such as "dime (10)," "hard eight," and "FOB 10/stateside 2."

What are your actions?


Quickly formulate your plans and issue your orders. Include a brief discussion of the rationale behind your actions. Submit you solutions by email at or to the Marine Corps Gazette, TDG 08-17, Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134. The Gazette will publish solutions in an upcoming issue.