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Insights from the Marine Corps Organizational Culture Research Project: Elements and Antidotes for Disillusionment



military, organizational culture, leadership, culture change, cohesion, generational differences


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 perspectives related to how and why Marines lose or retain faith in the institution of the Marine Corps. Through the voices of Marines, the report addresses perceived generational differences across the Marine Corps (largely conceptualized in terms of whether or not a Marine joined at a time when deployment to combat was highly likely), beliefs about the role of external influences on changes in Marine Corps culture, inconsistencies between policy implementation and lived realities, and the importance of engaging in difficult discussions to keep Marines engaged.  


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