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U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant Maj. Troy L. Black, sergeant major of the Marine Corps, speaks at the annual Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps Symposium at The Clubs of Quantico aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Oct. 17, 2019. Sergeants Major of the Marine Corps, Sergeants Major, Master Gunnery Sergeants, and Master Chiefs gather to brief and plan the needs of the present and future of the Marine Corps.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Piper Ballantine

Always Improving: Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Symposium

22 Oct 2019 | Cpl. Taryn Escott The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Troy Black brought together the most senior enlisted Marines and Sailors from around the Corps to a symposium on Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Oct. 17 through 18. These top leaders currently serve at the general officer level. They discussed leadership, valuable lessons, and naval integration.

There were many important topics discussed during this symposium. Some of those topics include the importance of teamwork with each other and leadership.


“We do partner exercises each year, we are already planning for next year. We are very involved with the naval integration with Pacific partnership. It's not that we haven’t done it before, but we really ramped up our navy integration amphibiosity.” Command Master Chief Petty Officer Michael Roberts, I Marine Expeditionary Force

Amphibiosity means to operate on land and sea, it may not be found in a dictionary, but it is a real concept considering exercises such as Trident Juncture, where there are joint amphibious procedures to ensure Marines can get anywhere under any circumstances.

Bringing senior leadership together to discuss valuable lessons they have learned over time helps improve the structure of leadership.

“The Navy and the Marine Corps are building the teamwork for the integration by increasing the amount of staff involvement so that we understand each other’s operations better. You see more Marines on the Navy staff, and starting to integrate some Navy on the Marine Corps staff,” said CMDCM Jody Fletcher, I MEF.

191017-M-DG494-1008 Photo by Lance Cpl. Fernando Moreno
Navy Command Master Chief Christopher W. Moore and Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Peter A. Siaw speak during the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Symposium in Quantico, Va., Oct. 17, 2019. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Symposium is an annual event for Marine Corps Sergeants Major to gather and discuss Corps readiness, safety and future operations.

This shows that working together can improve how naval integration works hand-in-hand with how the Commandant of the Marine Corps planning guidance is structured.

“The Navy and the Marine Corps have been a team since the very beginning, there is nothing that we haven’t done over a course of our history that has not been integrated, from 1775 to today, it is the navy and the Marine Corps team that have accomplished all of our successes," explains CMDCM Christopher Moore, III MEF.

 The Navy and Marine Corps have been working together for 243 years. However, there is a renewed emphasis on naval integration within the Marine Corps. 

“I think the renewed emphasis of the Navy-Marine integration is fantastic,” Fletcher said. “I think if you look at the Navy-Marine Corps team, it’s a symbiotic relationship. And we are looking at projecting power forward, the idea is to be more lethal in a globally dispersed environment.”

 “Naval integration is increasing lethality for the United States and the fact that with the Navy and the Marine Corps combined as one we are able to further project our power all across the globe,” Fletcher added.

There is always room to improve leadership and learn lessons. Leaders spoke about improving leadership, building off of valuable lessons learned, and discussing more about the renewed emphasis of naval integration brought together by senior leaders.

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