The focus of the Advanced School Seminar Program (ASSP) is to increase the gunnery sergeant's ability to translate policy into action while positively influencing the command climate.
Students will also sharpen their communication and decision making skills while being immersed in the organizational planning process of the Marine Corps.
This lesson will reinforce each Marine's understanding of the elements of reasoning, universal intellectual standards associated with critical thinking, and the domains of thinking. The overall purpose of this lesson is to prepare students to conduct critical analysis and to express themselves in a clear and well-reasoned manner that is the product of rigorous and disciplined thought. The quality of communication is dependent upon the quality of the communicator's thought. Consequently, ASSP will approach reading, writing, and speaking assignments as functional applications of critical thinking: self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrected thinking.
This lesson describes the specifics of standard letter format and other document formats such as endorsements, information papers, and position/decision papers. The purpose of this lesson is to discuss how to write standard letters and to determine appropriate use of documents in correlation with their intended purpose. Students will be tasked with writing a position/decision paper.
This lesson introduces the student to the military justice system, lawful search and seizure, and Manual of Judge Advocate General (JAGMAN) investigations. The overall purpose of this lesson is to facilitate discussions of basic legal concepts so students can provide assistance to subordinates and advice to the commanders and officers in charge. Given a scenario with simulated evidence, students will make a line of duty/misconduct determination and prepare the corresponding JAGMAN command investigation report.
Upon assuming command of a unit, the commander must lay the foundation for successful execution of the unit's role in the mission of the Marine Corps. To accomplish this, the commander conducts a detailed assessment of the organization by studying reports and reviews, as well as interviewing superiors, peers, and subordinate leaders. Once the command philosophy is developed and shared, it provides the vision, command priorities, and expectations of the unit. Without the commander's vision and expectations, the unit is subject to results by trial and error. Organizational leadership spends most of their time attempting to discover the commander's intent and second-guessing decisions. In short, a lack of commander's intent, or the understanding of it, is a distraction from the overall effectiveness of the unit. Gunnery sergeants play a key role in the dissemination and promotion of information within the organization. This role makes it critically important that you know how to examine and interpret the many facets and ideas expressed in the command philosophy along with the importance of mission command.
We have studied a great deal about leadership to develop ourselves to better serve our Corps and our Marines. However, in spite of our studies and our best efforts, toxic command climates do exist causing irreparable damage and even setting the stage for international disasters. What occurred in the 1/502 is not an isolated incident, in the history of war when a toxic command climate resulted in national and international outrage that negatively influenced national strategy. These toxic environments are morale busters that end the transformation process for many. Such climates destroy vertical cohesion and the willingness to serve. We have all experienced toxic environments at some point in our lives. For you, it is important to recognize those elements that cause toxic environments and attempt to remove them while continuing to sustain your subordinates transformation. In this leadership aspect of the profession of arms, failure is not an option as we deploy into the literals of the world. As a gunnery sergeant you are in the perfect position to influence the vertical cohesion and establish a positive command climate within your unit.
Why are United States Marines trained to fight and win wars and how do we fit into our national defense? This lesson brings a contextual understanding of the National Security Strategy of the United States while addressing national security as a collective term that encompasses both national defense and foreign relations. It will provide a broad strategic context for employing military capabilities in a complex joint environment in concert with other instruments of national power. The purpose of this lesson is to prepare students to operate effectively in joint, interagency, and multinational environments at the tactical, operational, and strategic level.
This lesson builds upon the doctrinal foundation provided by
MCDP 6, Command and Control, by explaining how information supports the Command and Control (C2) process. The purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to information management and the C2 process by providing a variety of techniques and guidelines to manage information more effectively to better support the decision-making process.
The ability to communicate effectively is key to your success within our institution. Your communication skills, or lack thereof, will determine the amount of influence you gain within our Corps. As a gunnery sergeant, communication is essential. It is ineffective to pass information that is not received or understood. Capturing the audience's attention may be the most difficult aspect of conveying information that must be retained. This lesson provides the tools necessary to plan, prepare, and deliver an oral presentation. Additionally, you will gain an understanding of the basic skills necessary to communicate effectively. This lesson will also address the subject of social media and its place in our Marine Corps: where do you stand and do you have the situational awareness to avoid a media nightmare?
The 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Neller, stated that "in the future fight, our capable
SNCOs must and will assume leadership responsibilities that were once the sole purview of officers." Overview of the Marine Corps Planning Process (MCPP) provides an awareness of the staff-level planning process with an emphasis on understanding the problem and developing viable courses of action to assist the commander in making the best decision. This lesson further prepares our senior enlisted leaders for those future decision-making responsibilities addressed by our 37th Commandant.
This lesson is designed to help students effectively frame problems so they can be sure they are engaging the true problem since no amount of subsequent planning can solve a problem insufficiently understood. Effective decision-making requires both the situational understanding to recognize the essence of a given problem and the creative ability to devise a practical solution. In this lesson, the students will participate in a practical exercise that is designed to develop the students' collaborative staff planning skills, preparation of MCPP planning products, and deliver a problem framing brief.
Course of action (COA) development is the second step of the Marine Corps Planning Process. COAs are viable options available to the commander that will accomplish the mission. The S-3, in coordination with other staff members, develops COAs in consonance with the commander's guidance and expresses them in a narrative sketch to describe the type of operation being considered. This lesson addresses the purpose, considerations, and criteria for developing courses of action.
This lesson builds on doctrinal foundations provided in
MCTP 8-10A, Unit Training Management Guide, by providing a greater understanding of the training principles, systems approach to training, training and readiness (T&R) manuals, and mission essential task lists (METLs). The purpose of this lesson is to enhance the student's ability to better support the Commander's training guidance by providing tools to effectively develop and implement training events structured to the unit's wartime mission while also ensuring efficient use of both time and resources.
This lesson builds on doctrinal foundations provided in
MCTP 8-10A, Unit Training Management Guide, by providing a greater understanding of the steps to develop training plans and evaluation processes. The purpose of this lesson is to increase the student's ability to plan, develop, and implement training plans while using the after action review (AAR) process to evaluate completed training.
Considering today's volatile global situation, it is disheartening to know that fewer than 10% of leaders exhibit the strategic skills necessary to meet the demands of their organization. These strategic leaders balance their analytical perspective with the human dimension to lay the foundation for building winning teams. They are critical for an organization to not only succeed but to thrive in chaotic operational environments. Strategic leaders must be able to anticipate, challenge, interpret, learn, and make decisions within our institutional values that create driving forces of productivity and efficiency. In short, strategic leaders find solutions to daily problems. As a senior enlisted leader, you are the guiding force behind the element you lead. You are expected by your officers and your subordinates to not just have an answer, but to have a solution. The purpose of this lesson is to explore those daily situations and possible solutions that fit within our institutional values to positively influence your unit.
This lesson discusses why we do what we do as senior enlisted leaders and the consequences of failure. It synthesizes each of the leadership lessons within this curricula to provide the student with a holistic understanding of their institutional roles and expectations.
The Advanced School Seminar Program is available to gunnery sergeants and gunnery sergeant selects who have completed the Advanced Course DEP on MarineNet (EPME7000BA). ASSP (or the resident Advanced School course) is a PME requirement for promotion from gunnery sergeant to master sergeant or first sergeant. Read about the enrollment process.
MARADMIN 583/19, Academic Year 2020 Class Dates for the Enlisted College Distance Education and Training Weekend Seminar Programs
All students will be assigned an instructor and will attend the seminar at a specified location or asynchronously online. ASSP consists of a 15-week program, students meeting one night per week or one weekend per month. The following are ASSP course schedules for each schedule type. Schedules for individual seminars are provided by region.
Weekday and Online:
The American Council on Education (ACE) has not yet reviewed the ASSP curriculum for recommended college degree credits.
Marine Forces Reserve DMO ticketing procedures policy
Contact us for any information or guidance about CDET's seminar-based distance education programs for enlisted Marines.
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Several external resources are available to assist in your research or school work.
Transcripts can be obtained via MarineNet.
Remember that Regional Culture and Language Familiarization (RCLF) is a requirement for PME completion.