5/14 COMMANDER’S INTENT
1. Purpose: This Commander’s Intent provides the Battalion Commander’s
command philosophy for operations within Fifth Battalion, Fourteenth Marines. It
should guide your accomplishment of assigned duties and in caring for your
Marines and Sailors and ensuring successful mission accomplishment.
2. Vision: Over the past two years, 5/14 and its batteries performed superbly
preparing for and operating in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF); however, although
our batteries’ proficiency in their artillery missions vary, the OIF deployments
resulted in an overall degradation in 5/14’s ability to function as an artillery
battalion. During my two year tenure, I envision the battalion accomplishing the
following: (1) gaining and maintaining proficiency in it’s primary mission of
planning and providing indirect fires, concentrating on the GS, GSR, and R
missions; (2) transitioning from the M198 to the M777; (3) integrating Battery Q;
(4) integrating our firing batteries into normal OIF rotations; (5) participating in
11th Marines’ DESFIREX during FY 08 in order to exercise our GS, GSR, and R
proficiency; (6) reviewing and updating the battalion’s tactical SOP; (7) reviewing
and updating the battalion’s Mobilization SOP; (8) getting a visit from the MORDT.
I envision 5/14 as a battalion that attracts and retains outstanding Marines
because it fosters proficiency, professionalism, and pride, and provides the
espirit de corps desired by all Marines.
3. Philosophy: We exist to provide a combat-ready battalion that can augment
the active force with minimal pre-deployment training. In order to support that
mission we must maintain our Marines, Sailors, and gear in the highest state of
readiness possible. Given the constraints under which we operate we must
prioritize how we use our three major resources: people, equipment, and time.
Running a reserve artillery unit isn’t rocket science; however, it is hard, rewarding
work that requires detailed, meticulous planning and thorough preparation. In
this battalion we take care of our Marines, take care of our equipment, and
accomplish the mission, whatever it is. The following list is what I believe we
need to accomplish in order to be successful.
a. ENJOY WHAT WE DO AND ACCOMPLISH MISSIONS WITH A SENSE
OF HUMOR……I put this bullet first to ensure it wasn’t an afterthought.
Some may interpret this as HAVE FUN, however, many times the things
we must do aren’t fun, but are professionally satisfying and best
accomplished with a sense of humor. I want Marines to look forward to
coming to drill weekends because we challenge them with hard,
interesting, realistic training. None of us joined the Corps to have an easy
time. Enjoying our experience in the battalion is a product of forging
professional bonds with the other Marines with whom we are blessed to
serve and knowing the battalion and its batteries can accomplish the
missions with which they are tasked.
b. Proactively plan our training and drill weekends; I expect battery
commanders and battalion staff to put in the detailed planning and
preparation necessary to ensure a drill weekend is well-run. If you are
only planning one month out then you’re already behind.
c. Practice safety in everything we do! ORM for all training evolutions.
Nothing we do in training is worth the loss of health, life, limb, or eyesight
of our Marines, Sailors, or the civilian population.
d. Never accept the “JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN” mentality. I can assure you,
our Marines will make it happen if you tell them to do so, but it may not be
in the manner you wished. We will either do things ethically or not do
them at all.
e. Accomplish all missions with a sense of urgency. LtGen Mattis coined the
phrase, “What do I know, who needs to know it, and have I told them?” I
believe in that. Conversely, “What do I need to know, who knows it, and
have I asked them?” is just as important.
f. Our operations will observe the three “flat ass rules”: Unity of Command,
Guardian Angels, and Geometry of Fires.
g. Train to accomplish our basic missions of shooting, moving,
communicating, sustaining, and securing ourselves; Battery operations
are my focus, however, we must be able to conduct battalion level
h. Ensure we maintain the annual requirements for PFT’s and Rifle/Pistol
qualifications. NBC chamber, swim qualifications, MCCS, and MCMAP
are not high on my priorities.
i. Set aside time to inspect and maintain our equipment to ensure it’s ready
to deploy. We reservists don’t own any of the commodity accounts;
however, it is our responsibility to ensure the equipment is accounted-for
j. Regularly review our Marines’ and Sailors’ administration and pay so that,
when we mobilize, we face a minimum of administrative churn.
k. Review and upgrade our Marines’ and Sailors’ medical and dental
readiness regularly to ensure we are ready to mobilize and deploy.
l. Ensure fitness reports and proficiency and conduct markings are
submitted in a timely manner.
m. Recruit prior service Marines, SMCR Marines, and new Marines to fill the
key billets in our batteries and staffs. I realize we have holes in key areas;
in order to accomplish the mission we need to have the right people on the
bus. Every battery has quotas for which they are responsible, and I hold
the commanders responsible for attaining them.
n. Ensure our Marines are PME complete for grade or enrolled and making
progress in their appropriate PME program.
o. Maintain an outstanding relationship with our I&I counterparts; they are
here to assist us with our mission, not accomplish it for us. Their
presence relieves us of most of the day-to-day burdens of running a
battalion so that we can concentrate on training and maintenance.
p. Maintain superior relationships between the battalion staff and the
batteries. The batteries should have no doubt that when they are tasked,
the staff officer doing the tasking is speaking for me; however, the staff
must be professional when dealing with the batteries. Likewise, we will
conduct ourselves professionally in our dealings with Regiment and the
Regimental Staff. We want to be the battalion with whom the regimental
staff enjoys working. We will be “can do”; no whining.
q. Ensure our deserving Marines are awarded in an appropriate and timely
r. Ensure we care for our families. Keeping the families informed is they key,
and the KVN is my vehicle to accomplish this. We will also assist our
Marines with other family issues as required. It really goes without saying
that a Marine’s performance is directly tied to his home situation, and his
family’s attitude toward his service.
4. Specific Guidance:
a. This document is required reading for all hands.
b. Training. Some of this guidance is included in the FY 07 training
plan, but I also placed it here for added emphasis:
1) Training for combat readiness is the only reason we exist.
2) My annual training plan is required reading for all
Sergeants and higher; the combined documents should
provide sufficient initial guidance for all leaders in the
3) Batteries will forward copies of their pre-drill letters and
training schedules to me.
4) Training plans:
a) FY 2007’s annual battalion training plan was
completed a little late; in the future, the annual
training plan will be completed NLT 1 September. If
we need to update the training plan because we
publish ours prior to regiment publishing it’s annual
training plan, that’s O.K.
b) Battery annual training plans are due 30 days after
the battalion plan is issued; going forward, plan on 30
September. I don’t really care which format the
batteries use, but the S-3 will publish a standard
training brief; the S-3 will also schedule a time for
each battery to provide its annual training brief to me.
c) Renew artillery safety certifications no later than one
month prior to their lapse.
d) Batteries will ensure they always have enough local
range RSO’s to operate.
5) Inspect our Marines’ and Sailors’ uniforms (entire issue) for
fit, accountability, serviceability, and proper rank insignia at
least once per year.
6) Inspect our Marines’ and Sailors’ 782 gear for cleanliness,
accountability, and serviceability at least twice per year.
7) The batteries will run an effective MVV program.
c. My expectations of our Marines:
1) KNOW YOUR JOB!
2) SEEK SELF-IMPROVEMENT AND GREATER
3) We are Marines 24X7, not just while we are on duty.
4) Physical fitness and military appearance are the individual
5) Marines are personally responsible for their uniforms and
6) Marines will understand how to operate and employ their
personal weapons and their battery’s crew served
7) Need to have a fundamental understanding of the enlisted
promotion process; in the end, each Marine is responsible
for his ability to get promoted.
8) NCOs and SNCOs need to understand the fitness report
9) Marines are responsible for their PME and mandatory MCI
10) Know what is going on today, tomorrow, three months out
and beyond; an informed Marine has the ability to make
1) The Battalion Sergeant Major works for me; battery
commanders may see him in their areas, but I have asked
the Sergeant Major to let the batteries know when he is out
and about in their areas.
2) The battery commanders work for me and have direct
access to me; the staff facilitates battery requests, and the
only officer who can tell the batteries, “no” is me.
3) I expect the battalion staff to support the HQ battery
4) The executive officer is the battalion chief of staff.
5) Bad news doesn’t get better with age; get it to me as soon
as you find out. I know you may not have all of the
information for a complete report initially, but let me know.
I want to be informed immediately if any of the following
a) Marine killed or seriously injured.
b) Firing incidents or serious incidents at training ranges.
c) Accidents involving civilian vehicle vs. tactical vehicle
or GSA vehicle.
d) Equal opportunity complaints.
e) Marines involved with civil authorities (on or off duty).
6) I have the final say in all officer joins and assignments.
a) They must be ready for review NLT one week after
the ending date of the fitrep; out of the reviewers box
NLT 2 weeks after that.
b) RS’s and RO’s will know their reporting profile.
Whenever a report is sent to me for review I want to
know where that Marine falls in your reporting profile.
c) Report the MRO’s PME status: PME complete,
distance PME complete and awaiting school seat, not
enrolled in PME, enrolled in PME and making
satisfactory progress, enrolled in PME and not making
d) Each reporting senior will produce a billet description
for the Marines on whom he reports and ensure the
Marines know your expectations.
a) The battalion is responsible for recruiting 26 new
Marines per year. There will be more to follow on this.
Batteries will be assigned quotas for which I will hold
the commanders responsible.
9) Post my EO statement and picture in all batteries; battery
commanders will ensure the EO statement is read to all
hands at least twice per year.
10) I want the batteries to explain the reserve commissioning
and warrant officer programs to their Marines and actively
11) Ensure you submit for a security clearance update before it
12) I expect batteries to put the required detailed planning and
preparation required for each training day; too much time is
lost because time is not spent planning training.
5. Conclusion: Nothing I have put into this document is earth-shattering or
radically innovative. It’s a distillation of my experiences and lessons
learned over 17 ½ years in the Corps, my vision of what I see unfolding
over the next couple of years, and guidance on the operations of this
battalion. Over the coming months it may be necessary for me to modify
this guidance and provide further guidance as required. We’ve got a job
to do, let’s get it done.
M. K. CLAUSEN