Commandant's Combined Commandership Course
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Marine Corps University
Quantico, Virginia


In 1992 the Commandant of the Marine Corps (CMC) established a resident commander's program for board selected and slated colonels and lieutenant colonels. The Spouses Workshop was established in March of 1993 to build on the successes of the Commanders Course. The workshop’s purpose is to help prepare spouses of slated commanders for their role as team members in the command. In 2013, the Commandant and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps established a resident program for newly selected sergeants major which was to similarly mirror the goals and purpose of the Commanders Course.

In past years the Commanders Program and Sergeants Major Course were deliberately offset from one another which only provided one-week for combined training on specific portions of their particular courses. Additionally, the Spouses Workshop has historically only been available to commanders' spouses. In FY15, all three courses will be combined providing maximum opportunity for commanders and sergeants major to interact as well as a new opportunity for sergeants' major spouses to attend the Spouses Workshop. This new construct is formally titled "Cornerstone: The Commandant's Combined Commandership Course".

The President, Marine Corps University (MCU), as executive agent for the CMC and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, annually conducts two Cornerstone courses. Attendance is mandatory for commanders and sergeants major either prior to or shortly after taking command or assuming their role as a Senior Enlisted Advisor. Attendance for spouses, while not mandatory, is highly encouraged.

Contact Us

Registration Form

The registration form for FY25 is available at:

FY25 Cornerstone Courses

25-1:  21 Oct to 1 Nov 2024

25-2:  17 to 28 Mar 2025

25-3:  28 Apr to 9 May 2025


Sergeants major at cornerstone

Graduates of Cornerstone will serve as principle advisors who are educated in organization behavior theories, philosophies, techniques, and practices required to advise and assist battalion/squadron level commanders.  Who will possess the competencies and ethical grounding to serve in senior leadership positions.

Required Reading


Admin: Roles and Challenges

Colonel Command

Focus Paper CSEL from Joint Staff

Marine Corps History Division

Profession of Arms (Pre-Read)

Professional Resume

SgtMaj Brief to the CO

SgtMaj Holub

Sum up your leadership in six words

Weekly Reports


Educate Commanders, Sergeants Major and their spouses on the fundamental authorities, responsibilities, programs, and practices that contribute to a successful command tour.

The curriculum will maximize the use of small group guided discussions with current and former Commanders, Sergeants Major and their spouses in order to permit a frank exchange of observations, ideas, and methodologies.

Points of Contact

Spouse Committee Coordinators
Mrs. Jennifer Butler


The Workshop's objective is to present issues and concepts that Commanding Officers, Sergeants Major, and their spouses can discuss - to give spouses ideas, options, and best practices as well as provide them a peer network for support and encouragement.

Spouses Workshop 20-1


1991, the Commandant directed the establishment of a course for slated Commanders.

1993, pilot Spouses program rolled out. The curriculum was developed from relevant aspects of the Navy’s CO/XO Seminar, the Command Team Seminar, and the Army Command & Staff College, then assembled using the acumen of a large committee of experienced Marine spouses.

2013, Sergeants Major course established for newly slated SgtsMaj.

2015, Commander’s course & SgtsMaj course combined – now known as Cornerstone.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: ​What is the dress code? Am I allowed to wear nice looking denim pants/jeans/jackets?
A: ​The dress code is business casual to include slacks or skirts, blouses, sweaters, or dresses. Wear comfortable shoes for walking on tour and to lunch in town. Please no denim, leggings, jeans or flip-flops  

Q:​ ​What’s the weather going to be like? 
A: ​Please check or equivalent site for forecasts. It is a good idea to bring a sweater or light jacket for the auditorium. Also we recommend that you bring an umbrella.

Q:​ How much time will I have with my spouse and/or our friends who will be at the course as well?
A: ​There are many joint presentations with Marines and spouses. Most days will end before 5 PM, which allows for socializing with friends over dinner. Spouses will also be given opportunities to network during scheduled breakout lunch sessions, while on tours, during transition times, and in small group sessions. 

Q:​ What expenses will I incur?
A: ​ Spouses will be responsible for all meals. *Non-local Marines and spouses will receive per diem for this training. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase throughout the week, or you may bring your own. If you have allergies, ingredient sensitivities, or diet restrictions, please consider planning ahead with purchases from the Commissary located on base. * Local attendees will not receive any funding. Additionally coffee will be available from the local snack bar next to Warner Auditorium.  You can pay a one time flat fee for bottomless coffee and utilize your own thermos.

Q:​ Can I bring a tablet or laptop with me, and is there Wi-Fi available?
A: ​Recommend bringing a laptop/iPad or other materials for note taking and accessing digital content. Don’t forget chargers to use each night in preparation for the next day. All presentation materials will be made available electronically for future reference. Wi-Fi is available in the education buildings.

Read Aheads

Spouse's Workshop Binder (updated 23 Oct 2022)

MCO 1754.9B-Unit, Personal and Family Readiness Program

Social Roster Guidelines

DoD Instruction 1342.22 Military Family Readiness

DD Form 2793- Volunteer Form (required for Command Team Members)

USMC at a Glance

Marine Corps Rank Structure

Marine Corps Acronyms

Marine and Family Programs Campaign Plan 2021-2024

Turnover Binder Example

Social Media Handbook

Social Media Do's and Don'ts 

Eight Rules for Great Military Spouses

Etiquette and Manners -Quick Guide

Command Ideas

It Worked and Best Practices


Marine Corps Volunteer Services Management- MCO 5380.2

MCCS Policies Manual MCO P1700.27B W CH 1

My Career Advancement Account - Scholarships and Tuition Assistance for Spouses

Military Spouse Employment Partnership Program

Why We Entertain

Entertainment Guide and Menus

Entertaining Ideas

Marine and Family Programs Spouses

OSC Diva Book

The Entertaining Pad

Website Links

Battle Book for the Company Commander Spouse- Army War College

Presentations and Materials

Spouses Workshop Binder                                          

Marine Corps 101                                                               

Medical Officer of the Marine Corps          

Social Media


Dr. Vandenbroek on Mental Health




Social Media                                                            Etiquette


Dr. Vandenbroek on Mental Health


Marine Corps University