Selecting the right EOR can impact unit readiness

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					               Selecting the right EOR can impact unit readiness
By Maj. William Gillespie            Appointment by MOS is a time worn procedure that may cause
DEOMI Marine Corps Liaison           troops to question the value, intent of the commander’s EO program.

Commanding officers are             administration officer or non-      creative problem solver. And      Ma’am,” regardless of their
expected to successfully lead       commissioned officer-in-charge      although the EOR should not be    situation.
organizations in a world of         (S-1).                              viewed as a “victim’s                The EOR billet is a time
unprecedented scrutiny,                And although the principle of    advocate,” the EOR should be      consuming collateral duty. The
complexity and ambiguity.           selecting Marines to fill most      able to empathize with the        interaction between the EOR
Marines participating in sexual     collateral duties is a successful   alleged victim.                   and the troops must be more
harassment, hazing, gangs, and      time-validated process, the                                           than a cursory “hello, good-
extremist groups have caused        essence of selecting an EOR                 Competency                bye” association. Their
commanders to reduce their          must not be lost in a rote,            Publishing a letter declaring relationship must be built on
focus on warfighting and have       checklist-minded procedure:         an officer or senior NCO as the mutual trust and confidence and
also tarnished the public image     particularly since an effective     battalion’s EOR does not make nurtured over time.
of our proud Corps.                 EOR requires abilities,             the person competent to              An EOR with a myriad of
   Individual Marines rely on       attributes and competencies not     perform the job. Training is an   other collateral duties may not
our Core Values of honor,           necessarily associated with a       integral part of the competency. be able to take the time to
courage and commitment to           particular military occupational       Although Marine Corps          establish rapport with the troops
help us navigate ill-defined        skill.                              orders do not identify specific   or simply blend in the motor
landscapes. Marine Corps               In fact, the essence of          tasks required of EORs, most      pool, maintenance bay or
Commandant Gen. Charles C.          selecting an EOR should be          local equal opportunity advisors barracks.
Krulak stated in his                based on three major factors:       develop and administer training      The Informal Resolution
“Commandant’s Planning              perceived fairness, competency,     for EORs to address their         System and the chain of
Guidance” that, “I do not intend    and availability to fellow          cognizant commanding general command are the preferred
for honor, courage, and             Marines and Sailors.                or commanding officer’s equal methods of addressing EO
commitment to be just words; I                                          opportunity policy. At a          complaints. However, a savvy
expect them to frame the way                                            minimum, an EOR should be         EOR may be an effective
we live and act as Marines.”                  Fairness                                                    alternate method of addressing
                                       Marines and Sailors who are      trained to process complaints,
   Commanding generals and                                              conduct EO training, assist the complaints just in case the
commanding officers of major        reluctant to report their                                             problem lies within the chain of
                                    problems or perceptions to the      EOA in measuring the
active commands have equal                                              command’s equal opportunity       command or the Marine is
opportunity advisors to assist,     chain of command or the EOR
                                    are often compelled to remain       (core values) climate, advise the afraid to use the preferred
advise and measure the                                                  commander on EO issues and        method.
application of our Core Values      silent. Silence will not resolve                                         Commanders may increase
                                    the problem; the problem is         assist the commander in
to all Marines and Sailors. In                                          managing his or her EO            their organization’s readiness
addition to sergeants major,        likely to fester and manifest                                         by assigning EORs that are fair,
                                    itself as low morale,               program.
chaplains and subordinate                                                                                 competent and available to their
commanders, commanding              unauthorized absences,                                                Marines and Sailors.
officers at the organizational      congressional inquiries or local           Availability
level, have equal opportunity       and national media interest.           Junior Marines and Sailors,
representatives to check the           Therefore, a commander           the people who are most likely
azimuth of the command’s            should seek an EOR who is           to be harassed, are often
route toward Core Values for        generally perceived to be fair,     reluctant and uncomfortable
everyone.                           impartial, and honest by junior     with expressing complaints to a
   And, whereas sergeants           Marines and Sailors in the          commissioned officer in the
major, chaplains and                command. Although all good          “distant command post”
subordinate commanders are          Marine officers and staff           because there are formal and
assigned to their positions by      noncommissioned officers            informal communication
virtue of experience, training      should possess the                  barriers that hinder the candid
and education, what attributes      aforementioned attributes, not      subordinate to senior dialogue.
qualify a Marine to be a            all are viewed that way by the         For example, although I
successful EOR?                     troops.                             believe intuitively, that when a
   Information I have gathered         For example, since the S-1       commander asks, “How are you
from various commands               officer is frequently assigned      doing Marine?” the commander
indicate that the normal strategy   the collateral duty of legal        expects an honest answer.
for assigning the collateral duty   officer, young Marines and          However, I have observed that
of the EOR is based on the          Sailors might perceive the S-1      the Marine will typically give a
individual’s primary duty as the    as a “punisher” instead of as a     preconditioned, “Fine Sir/Fine

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