The Sergeants School Seminar Program (SSSP) curriculum is derived from and parallel to the resident Sergeants Course curriculum and the goals are identical—to prepare Marine sergeants to:
This lesson discusses how sergeants represent the strength of the U.S. Marine Corps. Since our founding in the American Revolution, and our ensuing operations around the globe, Marine Corps
NCOs have exhibited the sturdy leadership, calm professionalism, strong self-discipline, and inspiring courage that makes our legacy a first-class organization. The continuation of our warfighting excellence rides heavily on the success of our sergeants, imbuing their units with our Corps' measure of honor, courage, and commitment. Furthermore, sergeants remain the sentinel of the unit, never allowing their subordinates to be caught unprepared for any task. By their every action, sergeants must set an unrelenting example of loyalty to our Corps values, especially in the most difficult circumstances. Regardless of your
MOS, sergeants are expected to make rapid, well-reasoned, independent decisions and take action that supports their commander's intent while facing a bewildering array of challenges and threats.
Interpersonal communication skills are the cement that bonds conversations, relationships, and organizations together. Your ability to communicate effectively in your unit, and your life, is critical to your personal growth and success. You should have excellent oral communication skills to effectively inform your Marines, and to persuade your peers and seniors. One of the most common types of oral presentations is an informational brief or a training session with your Marines. This lesson provides the tools necessary to plan, prepare, and deliver an oral presentation. Ultimately, this lesson will provide you with an understanding of the basic skills necessary to communicate effectively.
Leaders must possess the ability to communicate effectively via written documents, letters, and reports in proper English. This lesson covers the basic writing steps, to include writing a thesis statement for an essay. The second part of this lesson will discuss the performance evaluation system including the responsibilities of the Marine reported on, and the reporting chain. To enhance your career progression, this lesson will describe how to interpret reporting senior and reviewing officer marks on the master brief sheet, as well as what makes a fitness report adverse.
Preparing subordinate leaders to assume greater responsibilities is a continuous process and shared responsibility. This is accomplished through direct experiences and strengthened through a combination of engaged leaders coaching, counseling and mentoring their Marines to achieve this desired effect. This lesson will cover the policies, strategies, and techniques to use while advancing the development of subordinates through coaching, counseling, and mentoring. Additionally, a Marine's interpersonal communication skills in delivering constructive feedback can greatly influence and motivate individuals or an entire command.
The objective of Marine Corps leadership is to develop the leadership qualities displayed by Marines, which enables them to progressively assume greater responsibilities within the Marine Corps and society. In order to support the objective of developing others, a leader must understand who those others are, what their true values are, and understand what motivates them. As a Marine leader, we can rely on the group values that our Corps provides, however that only scratches the surface of what it means to lead. Bonded by our group values, each member of our Corps is still very much individually motivated and contributes to the group in their own unique way. To gain increased influence beyond your billet or grade, you will have to understand the different personalities within your unit and what motivates those personalities. By recognizing these differences you will be better prepared to quickly handle situations that arise outside the unit's mission set and prepare your Marines for personal and professional success.
To understand the Marine Corps' foundations of leadership you will explore and analyze the development of warrior ethos, its values, and the different principles that improved great armies in history. You will also study the individual leaders that guided such organizations. Additionally, we will discuss how we integrate these concepts into our leadership and decision-making processes, regardless of whether we're in a combat or a garrison environment.
It is important for non-commissioned officers to have a common understanding of institutional events that demonstrate positive and negative examples of leadership and their impact on the Marine Corps. This basic knowledge of the effects of these positive and negative examples provides a point of departure for analyzing, and understanding how positive command climates mitigates incidents of sexual assault, hazing, and fraternization. Additionally, students will submit their written essay in response to their chosen prompt with their educated opinion about the topic.
The frequent and sustained forward deployed posture of the Marine Corps demands a proactive approach to developing and maintaining the mind, body, and spirit (equally) in every Marine. It is an indisputable fact that every warrior culture has, as its underlying heartbeat, resiliency. To maintain a ready and capable force now, and in the future, there must be a plan to develop your Marines' mind, body and spirit. How can leaders develop a holistic understanding of their Marines' critical element of resiliency? What knowledge, skills, and abilities are required to develop, manage, and maintain resilient Marines? During this lesson students will become familiar with developmental activities and the importance of a resilient mind, body and spirit.
This lesson is the first of the four warfighting lessons in SSSP. This lesson examines concepts important to warfighting, the nature and theory of war, and considers the relevance of these concepts as they pertain to all Marines, not just infantry. In this lesson, students analyze how the Marine Corps integrates these concepts into our leadership and decision making.
Success in combat is reflective of a leader's ability to make tactically sound decisions in a time constrained and ever-changing environment. The decision-making process can be very complicated for a leader without the right tools. The right tools represent formats that are broad enough to assess options and make and communicate effective decisions. Troop Leading Steps is a tool used to aid leaders in making tactically sound decisions, formulate plans, coherently communicate those plans, and turn those decisions into action. The acronym "BAMCIS" is the recognized format for the troop leading steps used throughout the Marine Corps to achieve and implement decisions. The Troop Leading Steps are used at all levels of command, but to varying degrees. This lesson addresses the Troop Leading Steps as they apply to a small unit leader.
During the first part of Troop Leading Steps (TLS), you are educated in how to use some of the various tools needed to assess difficult situations presented to you and your Marines, as well as how to weigh some of those options in order to make and communicate clear and confident decisions. This lesson continues to hone those skills by applying your understanding of the tools given to you in order to make those decisions. As a sergeant, it is extremely important that you are able to comprehend warfighting concepts and that you have the ability to act decisively on them. As a squad leader or small unit leader, it is imperative that you understand the nature and theory of war as it will be evident in your planning, preparation, communication, and execution of the assigned mission regardless of your
MOS or the type of unit being tasked to accomplish said mission. Your unit and your Marines rely on your skills to analyze complex information and make critical, ethical, and tactically sound decisions in a chaotic and uncertain situation.
The Marine Corps is capable of, and has successfully conducted, a wide variety of independent operations. Currently, joint operations are the norm (vice the exception) for employing the military to succeed in today's complex security environment. The standard operations are as follows: joint, inter-agency, and multinational. Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom confirmed that future operations will be jointly executed, with each service component lending its unique and important capabilities to the joint battle plan. This lesson provides the basic fundamentals of joint operations while introducing students to the various unified combatant commands, their missions and responsibilities.
As a Marine NCO, you hold a special position in the Corps; you are responsible for the lives of the Marines in your charge, in and out of combat situations. You are leaders of Marines and much more. You represent the unwavering traditions of duty and dedication to your assigned mission. NCOs are that "indispensable and irreplaceable linkage" between command guidance and mission accomplishment. This lesson is designed to provide a focus on your role and obligations to your unit, subordinates, seniors, and to yourself.
The Sergeants School Seminar Program is available to sergeants who have completed the Sergeants Course DEP on MarineNet (EPME5000AA). SSSP (or the resident Sergeants School course) is a PME requirement for promotion from sergeant to staff 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, announces the AY20 class dates and course prerequisites for the Sergeants School Seminar Program.
All students will be assigned an instructor and will attend the seminar at a specified location. SSSP consists of a 15-week program, students meeting one night per week or one weekend per month. The following are SSSP 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 SSSP curriculum for recommended college degree credits.
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Transcripts can be obtained via MarineNet.
Remember that Regional Culture and Language Familiarization (RCLF) is a requirement for PME completion.