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Insights from the Marine Corps Organizational Culture Research Project: Trust in the Marine Corps – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly



military, culture, trust, leadership


This document was an applied “quick look” report from the Marine Corps Organizational Culture Research (MCOCR) Project. The MCOCR project was conducted between 2017 and 2020 by the Translational Research Group, a multidisciplinary social science research team at Marine Corps University. The project involved interviews and focus groups with 267 active duty U.S. Marines regarding various aspects of culture, but with an emphasis on gender bias, leadership, and cohesion. The project also was informed by the researchers’ enduring presence within a Marine Corps organization and daily interactions with Marines, which assisted them in interpreting research participants’ comments. This particular report focused on early researcher insights related to Marines’ experiences with trust. Specifically, the report addresses trust in relation to position and shared identity, peer relations, leader and subordinate relations, and the role of institutional systems in building and breaking trust.


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