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Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, the commanding general of 1st Marine Division, speaks during the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar at Arizona State University at Tempe, Arizona, Sept. 11, 2015. The seminar was an event supporting Marine Week Phoenix, which aims to connect the Corps with the people of Arizona.

Photo by Sgt. Justin M. Boling

Arizona State University learns art, science of Marine Corps leadership

12 Sep 2015 | Sgt. Justin M. Boling The Official United States Marine Corps Public Website

The Marine Corps Leadership Seminar came to Arizona State University, Sept. 11, 2015.


The Seminar was an event supporting Marine Week Phoenix, which aims to connect the Corps with the people of the greater Phoenix area.

“Gen. Joeseph Dunford, while serving as the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, tasked me to create a program to speak to universities,” said Dr. Kenneth D. Dunn, the director of the seminar and retired Marine Corps colonel. “The mission is to educate universities about the Marine Corps by sharing Marine Corps leadership principles with students and key influencers around campus.”

The seminar has visited 35 schools sharing leadership with more than 800 students and 1,100 influencers, such as teachers, coaches and members of the local community.

“The leadership seminar goes back to the design of this universities charter,” said Navy Capt. Steven Borden (Ret), the director of the Pat Tillman Veterans Center.“ Our military community is important and their inclusion is important to the University.”

Some topics discussed included: Defining leadership, decision making, command presence, leading subordinates, communication and the importance of delegation.

“This type of information is invaluable to students.” Borden said. “The sharing of this knowledge leads to the success of all, who make up or university.”

Participants were split into teams to conduct leadership and team building challenges. The challenges allowed teams to use concepts they learned in the earlier class.

“The leadership seminar is like planting seeds and the fruit it bears are meaningful relationships,” said Col. Mark Hollahan, branch head of Equal Opportunity and Diversity Branch, USMC Manpower and Reserve Affairs.“ Those who attend learn valuable skills and we get to educate them about the Marine Corps.”

The guest speaker was ASU alumni and Marine Corps Leader, Brig. Gen. Daniel Yoo, the commanding general of 1st Marine Division.

“It has been 30 years since I left ASU,” Yoo said. “It was the foundation of my career.”

Yoo spoke of the two things he learned at the university, which led to success: The importance of education, which led him to constantly seek self-improvement through both military and academic education, and that initiative is critical to maximize opportunities.

“My [officer selection officer] was a very inspiring person,” Yoo said. “He told me when I was conflicted about joining or pursuing a graduate degree, higher education is important, but learning leadership and gaining experience is invaluable.

“Something about Marine Corps leadership really sets you apart.”

Leadership is the strength of the Corps. Marine Week Phoenix helps people understand all of the capabilities these leaders can bring to the fight.