I believe that when practiced, the principles listed below will help develop us into stronger and more capable individuals and as a result of that, a stronger team. None of these principles are new, but I expect every Marine and Sailor in this Regiment to live by them rather than just understand them.
1. Mission First: Mission accomplishment will always be our top priority. This may require leaders to make tough or unpopular decisions during both peacetime and in war, but our Country, our Corps, and our duty as Marines and Sailors demands nothing less. I firmly believe that the best form of troop welfare is to instill discipline and high standards in our Marines and Sailors and train them hard to ensure they can accomplish their mission and return home. Successfully accomplishing one's mission is the greatest form of leadership by example.
2. Leadership by Example: Although one of the Marine Corps' fourteen leadership principles, I believe leading by example encapsulates all the others. Whether the most junior or senior member of a unit, your subordinates, peers, and leaders are listening to and watching your every word and deed. You set the standard for those around you through your actions. Ensure the example you set results in excellence.
3. Balanced Excellence: Marines are expected to excel in everything they do; it is not acceptable to succeed in some areas but fail in others. Striving for excellence will drive us to undertake every task with professionalism, enthusiasm, and a dedication to mission accomplishment. Our reputations, both personal and professional, require it. We will constantly seek improvement to achieve this excellence.
4. Self Improvement: There is always room for improvement. Constantly strive to strengthen your performance as well as that of your unit. Assess your abilities, turn your weaknesses into strengths, and then build on your strengths. More importantly, use your strengths to assist others in their own self improvement. More capable individuals make more capable units ... we grow together.
5. Character: Marines and Sailors are men of character. NEVER do anything illegal, immoral, or unethical. Set the right example and always do the right thing.
These are not just words. They are guidelines to live and perform by. You can expect this of me and I will expect it of you.
God Bless & Semper Fi,
Kenneth R. Kassner
5th Marine Regiment