LOUISVILLE, Ky. --
Students attended the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar Sept. 24 and 25 at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky.
During the last three years, Dr. Kenneth D. Dunn, a Louisville native and the director of the Marine Corps Leadership Seminar, and his team have taken the leadership seminar to colleges and universities all over the country, focusing on schools with diverse student communities with hopes of improving diversity in the Marine Corps.
“Our mission is to attract top talent,” Dunn said. “We want to use Marine Corps leadership as a vehicle to educate students and influencers about the Marine Corps. We want to connect with these colleges, universities, and their communities in an effort to bring top talent into the Marine Corps.”
The goal of the seminar is to educate students about leadership, leaving them with a positive feeling about the Corps.
“I was all for getting the Marine touch at the university,” Richard Huck, retired Marine Corps major general and guest speaker, said. “They have the Air Force and Army Reserve Officer Training Corps units, and there is no representation of the naval services.”
Ishmon Burks, retired U.S. Army colonel and second guest speaker, also spoke about leadership at the Louisville seminar. Although Burks isn’t a Marine Corps representative, “Leadership is leadership,” Dunn said.
“The students get to see and hear a seasoned leader talk about his or her experiences and it gives them an idea of what they could be in 25 or 30 years,” Dunn said.
Officers from Quantico, Va., also spoke and interacted with each seminar’s audience. Together, they lead the program of instruction covering different leadership methods, decision-making, and command presence.
At every seminar, audience members are split into groups and are given the opportunity to each lead their group in team building exercises. They also discuss a real case study with the Marine officers, giving their different opinions on the case.
“During the team-building, decision making games and during the guided discussion, it may be the first time they make decisions in a community setting where someone will absolutely oppose it and they’re allowed to all have different opinions,” Michael R. Schulz, the chief instructor of the seminar.
At the conclusion of the seminar, each of the officers described their experiences as leaders in the Marine Corps. Schulz highlighted the importance of getting an early start on leadership.
“For me, the word leadership meant something very, very different before the Marine Corps,” Schulz said. “We’re all leaders in our own way. Every decision is something that affects other people and changes the future of their lives.”