2022 Fall CEO Letter
By Brian Gilman, Colonel, USMC, (Ret.)
It was January 1994. Chaos descended out of nowhere. I was two days into the U.S. Marine Corps Officer Candidate School. This was “pick up” day – the day our company’s drill instructors took control. The first thing our platoon did was get haircuts. In less than a minute, I sat in the barber chair — at the position of attention — and was shaved bald. The second thing we did was dump all our possessions on the ground where our drill instructors rifled through them and confiscated everything of a personal nature – our clothes, our identification, our photos. That action began the multi-month process of destroying our individual identities and rebuilding them as disciplined members of a team.
From that point on – and for the rest of my 27-year career as an Active-Duty Marine – the Corps provided everything I needed to thrive as a member of the Marine Corps Team. The Corps clothed me, housed me, fed me, trained me, educated me, and gave me teammates with whom I forged some of the most intense personal relationships of my life. The Corps instilled in me an extreme sense of shared values and gave me a mission that I understood and was well trained to accomplish. The Corps built in me and my fellow officer candidates a strong sense of self – a renewed identity, with a clear understanding of our potential. Finally, the Corps gave us a sense of purpose that bound us to the Corps Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment for life.