Photo Information

General Robert B. Neller, 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, passes the Marine Corps Battle Color to Gen. David H. Berger, 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps during a passage of command ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., July 11, 2019. General Neller relieved his duties as commandant of the Marine Corps to Gen. Berger.

Photo by Marine Corps Sgt. Robert Knapp

2019 Commandant’s Planning Guidance

2 Aug 2021 | Courtesy Story Headquarters Marine Corps

Published in the summer of 2019, the 38th Commandant’s Planning Guidance provides strategic direction for the Marine Corps.  It establishes the Commandant’s priorities for aligning the Service with the National Defense Strategy and Defense Planning Guidance; enhancing our warfighting capability through naval integration; achieving the proper balance of resources in our readiness, modernization, and infrastructure sustainment efforts and accounts; and improving the quality of leadership we provide our Marines and Sailors.

The document outlines the Commandant’s five priority focus areas:

Force Design. We will support the naval force – operating in contested maritime spaces, facilitating sea control, or executing distributed maritime operations.  To do so, and do so better, we must divest of legacy capabilities and concepts that do not meet the future requirements, regardless of their past operational efficacy.  We must invest thought in new concepts, time in training to practice and refine those concepts, and capital in threat-informed capabilities to support the effective employment of those concepts.


Ready for Rockets Photo by Pfc. Sarah Pysher


Warfighting. We have been and remain the Nation’s naval expeditionary force-in-readiness. We will maintain our warfighting overmatch through innovation, ingenuity, and our willingness to adapt. 



Shots at Sea Photo by Sgt. Isaiah Campbell


Education and Training. While different, education and training are inextricably linked. Education denotes study and intellectual development. Training is primarily learning-by-doing. We will not train without the presence of education; we must not educate without the complementary execution of well-conceived training.



Plan for Perfection Photo by Cpl. Aaron Patterson


Core Values. The Marine Corps developed its warfighting spirit and character in the values of honor, courage, and commitment. The sentiments these concepts evoke are seen and felt in the shared experiences, hardships, and challenges in training and combat and embody what it is to be a Marine – they cannot be mandated, yet live in the collective soul of our Corps.



Leading the Corps Photo by Chief Warrant Officer Pete Thibo


Command and Leadership. Those selected for command have earned our special trust and confidence and are accountable for all decisions and actions. Leaders must ensure Marines are well-led and cared for physically, emotionally, and spiritually, both in and out of combat. “Taking care of Marines” means vigorously enforcing our high standards of performance and conduct. “Taking care of Marines” also means ensuring the Marine Corps retains the talent that it needs to support the vision of the future.    



March on the Colors Photo by Lance Cpl. Alison Dostie