U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gen. David Furness, Commanding General of Combined Joint Task Force - Horn of Africa (CJTF-HOA), speaks to members of CJTF-HOA during his promotion ceremony, in which he was promoted to major general, at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, March 24, 2018 (Photo: Staff Sgt. Timothy Moore)

Editor's note: This article was written on the condition of anonymity by an active-duty junior Marine Corps officer in the combat arms. His identity is known to Task & Purpose but is being withheld at his request out of concern for retaliation that may harm his career. It comes in response to a policy letter issued on April 16 by Marine Gen. David Furness, commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, which established a basic daily routine due to what Furness described as "a significant decline in the basic discipline" of his Marines.

Gen. Furness,

Though I am a mere junior officer, let me be entirely frank: your latest policy letter 5-19 "Basic Daily Routine" violates the core tenets of Marine Corps doctrine. You ought to repeal it immediately.

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Army Vice Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. James McConville. Photo: Dana Clarke/U.S. Army

Army Vice Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville has been nominated by President Trump to take over as Chief, replacing Gen. Mark Miley.

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The Nation's newest Coast Guardsmen from Recruit Company Lima 188 march in front of family and friends during Pass and Review during recruit graduation at Training Center Cape May, Aug. 2, 2013. (U.S. Coast Guard/Chief Warrant Officer Donnie Brzuska)

First you hear them. The dull roar of voices calling and repeating. Hundreds of rubber soles begin pounding the pavement of an empty Beach Avenue. It sounds like an oncoming train.

Then the recruits of United States Coast Guard Training Center Cape May are upon you.

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A combat patrol advanced three miles north of Lucca (furthermost point occupied by American troops) to contact an enemy machine gun nest in September 1944 as part of the Italian Campaign (DoD/National Archives and Records Administration)

World War II Army veteran Milton Miller says he has never forgotten an act of cowardice by his platoon leader.

It happened in the Alban Hills south of Rome following the Allied Forces' amphibious invasion on the Italian beaches of Anzio in January 1944.

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(U.S. Marine Corps/Sgt. Sarah Anderson)

What can we do to counter the negative effects of ambitious promotion seeking? I offer the following:

  1. Don't look at your evaluation
  2. Speak truth to power
  3. Strive for impact, not promotion

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I am skeptical of a lot of the recommendations I read on leadership, which often strikes me as pyramids of buzzwords, but I liked this article by a former British submariner who went on to do a PhD in leadership.

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