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The Importance of Connecting with Senior Cadets and Personal Preparation for Junior Leaders

Title: The Importance of Connecting with Senior Cadets and Personal Preparation for Junior Leaders


The journey to becoming an effective and successful leader in the military starts with personal preparation and the willingness to learn from experienced personnel. Junior leaders should consciously connect with Senior Cadets, respect the chain of command, and complete all necessary personal and professional preparations. This article will explore the importance of connecting with Senior Cadets, personal preparation tips, and drafting essential policy letters and statements.

Connecting with Senior Cadets

One of the most valuable resources for a junior leader is the knowledge and experience of the Senior Cadets in their command. Aspiring leaders should take the time to listen and learn from these experienced individuals. It is crucial to maintain a respectful demeanor, as overstepping one's bounds can have negative consequences. By strolling through the power and engaging with each Senior Cadet, junior leaders can gain invaluable insights and practical knowledge to serve them well in their careers.

Personal Preparation

Junior leaders should proactively complete the same check-in process as their Junior Leader Basic Course (JLBC) Cadets. This includes assessing the effectiveness of various facilities and services, such as the Installation Personnel Administration Center (IPAC), the Consolidated Issue Facility (CIF), and supply, Medical, and Dental. A well-rounded understanding of these processes will help junior leaders better appreciate their Cadets' challenges.

Junior leaders should also ensure they complete or update the following items:

  • Testament and Power of Attorney (POA)

  • Medical and dental checkups and dental cleaning

  • Physical Fitness Test (PFT) or Combat Fitness Test (CFT)

  • All required annual classroom/online training via Marine Net or Total Workforce Management System (TWMS)

  • Field protective confidence training

  • Rifle/pistol qualification as required

  • Combat water survival training/qualification

Additionally, junior leaders should read and study Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) and leadership/mentorship material, formulate goals and milestones, develop a philosophy of awards and punishments, and establish CCIRs (reportable crises and when JLBC Cadets exhibit judgment, initiative, creativity, and energy). Updating one's biography is also essential.


Drafting policy letters and statements is a crucial aspect of leadership. Junior leaders should start by writing a Command Philosophy and consider preparing the following policy letters and words:

  • Request Mast Initiating Directive

  • Equal Opportunity, including complaint procedures and consequences for discrimination

  • Hazing, with explicit prohibition, examples, reporting procedures, and consequences

  • Domestic Violence, ensuring the Commanding Officer completes training on installing domestic violence services and resources within 90 days of assuming command

  • Substance Abuse


Connecting with Senior Cadets and completing thorough personal preparation are essential for junior leaders to develop into effective and successful military leaders. By investing time in learning from experienced personnel, taking personal responsibility for one's development, and establishing clear policies, junior leaders can create a strong foundation for their careers and contribute positively to their commands.

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