Generations of Americans have given special meaning to the title United States Marine. These same men and women live by a set of enduring Core Values which form the bedrock of their character. These Core Values give Marines strength and regulate their behavior; they bond the Marine Corps into a total force that can meet any challenge.
Honor guides Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior: to never lie cheat or steal, to abide by an uncompromising code of integrity, respect human dignity and respect others. The quality of maturity, dedication, trust and dependability commit Marines to act responsibly; to be accountable for their actions; to fulfill their obligations; and to hold others accountable for their actions.
Courage is the mental, moral and physical strength ingrained in Marines. It carries them through the hardships of combat and helps them overcome fear. It is the inner strength that enables a Marine to do what is right, to adhere to a higher standard of personal conduct and to make tough decisions under stress and pressure.
Commitment is the spirit of determination and dedication found in Marines. It leads to the highest order of discipline for individuals and units. It is the ingredient that enables 24-hour a day dedication to Corps and country. It inspires the unrelenting determination to achieve a standard of excellence in every endeavor.
These values make up the bedrock of a Marine’s character. During recruit training, recruits are taught these Core Values and the numerous others attached to them, such as integrity, discipline, teamwork, duty and esprit de Corps. Drill instructors, recruit training officers and Navy chaplains teach specific Core Values classes, but drill instructors also talk one-on-one with recruits after other training events to see what values were learned and how they affect the recruits. For example, a drill instructor might talk about overcoming fears after rappelling or not giving up after a long march.
Our 32nd Commandant, Gen. James L. Jones, envisioned a program to enable every Marine to realize their full potential as a warrior. Drawing upon our rich legacy of leadership and heritage of innovation, the Marine Corps developed the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. It is a martial art whose roots reach back from the boarding parties of the Continental Marines, extend through the Raiders of World War II and include the modern complexities of the three-block war.