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1st Marine Division


1st Marine Division

"The Blue Diamond"

Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Our Regiment has a rich and distinguished history. Its reputation as our Corps’ most decorated infantry regiment has been seared in the crucible of many wars and crises since its establishment in 1917. The opportunity to lead this magnificent warfighting team is a tremendous honor, and it’s a privilege I don’t take lightly as Regimental Commander. The following cornerstones of my Commander’s Guidance are provided to further explain my leadership philosophy and orient our individual and collective energies in Team GRIZZLY while we prepare for future combat operations and serve as the center of excellence for developing combat-readied battalions for the Unit Deployment Program (UDP) and the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU).

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The first priority of this Regiment is combat readiness.  The daily activities of Team Grizzly must support this effort.  To fight and win, each of us must develop a combat mindset and think “mission first”.  We must become professionally competent in our respective trades, demonstrate brilliance in the basics, exhibit physical and mental toughness, tenaciously pursue and execute quality training, and exercise active and positive leadership. The 82nd Congress of the United States directed and wrote into law that the Marine Corps would be our nation’s force in readiness.  Our “mission first” mindset will ensure that the Fightin’ Fifth adheres to our nation’s expectation of a readied force.
Leading by example is one of the core tenets of our Marine ethos, and I expect all leaders of the Fightin’ Fifth to remain deeply engaged with their Marines and to maintain the high standards for which Marines are known through your daily example.  Also, to achieve mission success, we must master intent-driven operations in our daily activities.  Key leaders of Team GRIZZLY must know their commanders’ intent and effectively issue mission-type orders to meet that intent.  Initiative, teamwork, and trust are key components to empowering our Regiment’s leadership.  With this empowerment, however, comes accountability and responsibility.  When employing trust tactics, I expect all leaders to provide the requisite amount of leadership and guidance for Marines and Sailors to succeed.  Mission failure due to a lack of supervision is unacceptable.   
Outstanding warfighting organizations actively maintain a values system and practice the principles of that system.  In the Fightin’ Fifth, our personal and professional character and conduct will be guided by our Corps’ core values of honor, courage, and commitment.  Situational ethics or breaches of integrity on or off the battlefield will simply not be tolerated.  As men of character, I expect us always to do the right thing and never anything illegal, immoral, or unethical.  The test of character occurs not when it’s convenient or easy to do well, but when tasks are difficult and arduous.  Building a tradition of character in our Marines will inevitably lead to the pursuit of excellence.  Uncompromising adherence to our values is essential for effective warfighting.
I firmly believe that a family in harmony will prosper in everything.  Family is the fundamental unit of society.  It is a source of encouragement, advocacy, assurance, and emotional refueling that empowers each of us to succeed.  For me, family is my 7th Warfighting Function, complementing the doctrinal six functions that exist in our Marine Corps. Combining these six functions with our Regiment’s active commitment to our families equates to enhanced combat power.  To that end, I expect all of us, especially the Fightin’ Fifth leaders, to apply the necessary attention to family readiness in order to enable our “mission-first” focus and combat readiness.
As Marines we are expected to excel in all that we do.  Our legacy in the Corps is built on this expectation, which is implied in Congress’s direction that we as Marines will be most ready when our nation is least ready.  Striving for excellence will ultimately lead toward greater professional competency and a dedication to mission success.  Our individual and collective pursuit of excellence will ensure our combat readiness and effectiveness in any crisis. 
The Marines and Sailors of this storied Regiment are among the finest in our Corps, and each of you greatly adds to the rich and proud heritage of the Fightin’ Fifth. Showcase that pride, but diligently work to make our team a better warfighting organization and enhance its already high credibility by developing an innate bias toward excellence in all that we do. Victory is the end to which our wartime focus, positive leadership, balanced excellence, values orientation, and family unity are ultimately and energetically directed in unison. Semper fi, Kenneth R. Kassner Commanding Officer Fifth Marine Regiment
Semper fi,
Kenneth R. Kassner
Commanding Officer
Fifth Marine Regiment