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U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command


U.S. Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

Camp Lejeune, NC

MCIEAST, MARSOC go to college

By Cpl. Richard Blumenstein | | February 24, 2010

Key leadership from Marine Corps Installations East, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command and the University of North Carolina gathered together to sign two memorandums which will form a lasting bond between the organizations Feb. 24, at the MARSOC headquarters building auditorium.

The memorandums signed by Erskine Bowles, the president of UNC, and Major Generals Carl B. Jensen, commander of MCIEAST and Paul E. Lefebvre, commander of MARSOC, signify a collaborative agreement between the three organizations.

“Most importantly I’m here to make a commitment to you,” Bowles said to the generals during the signing. “That is why we are going to do this. I promise you we’re in this game for the long haul. We want to be good partners with the Marines.”

The first document, a memorandum of agreement signed between MCIEAST and UNC, solidifies the Elite-To-Elite Academic Mission.

ETEAM allows eligible North Carolina-resident Marines and sailors leaving the service to bypass the standard college admissions process and be directly accepted into one of 11 UNC schools. Service-members are personally recommended by Jensen following a simple application process.

“It can be daunting to have to compete with a high school senior in the application process, as counter intuitive as that may seem,” Jensen said. “… Some of the experiences that a military member might have in their portfolio may not be given the same kind of weight that they should.

“So this equalizes the playing field a little bit,” he said. “President Bowles has allowed me to act as one of his admissions officers.”   
To qualify, personnel must furnish copies of their basic training records, their high school transcript, and achieve a combined minimum score of 1000 on the SAT. Addtionally, Marines and sailors must have minimum score of 70 on their Armed Forces Qualification Test and a minimum score of 115 on their General Classification Test. Application packages are due to the commanding general no later than April 1. After the selection board meets April 15th, selectees' names will be forwarded to the UNC Admissions Officer on 1 May for routine screening. Qualified individuals are encouraged to call Dr. David Schock, MCIEAST’s regional school liaison at 910 449 9748 for further details.

The other document, a memorandum of understanding between MARSOC and UNC, starts the dialog on developing a number of UNC supported programs and courses for MARSOC Marines and sailors.

So far, UNC has agreed to support MARSOC in areas such as performance, resilience and rehabilitation (PERRES), animal husbandry, and language and culture education.

“Understanding the nature of conflict, the strategic, political and economic issues that are associated with how we fight, where we fight and how we act are absolutely essential,” Lefebvre said. “Our relationship with a quality program like the UNC system allows us to be smarter at that higher chess board, if you will, in terms of how we look at these issues in the future.”

Other possible initiatives mirror a memorandum between UNC and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command, which was signed in November 2009.

For UNC the memorandums mean more students with life experience and great leadership skills on the campus grounds. It also means an opportunity to conduct research while also improving the capabilities of MARSOC.

“For us it’s a chance to have our students live and learn from these Marines who have had experiences throughout the globe, experiences that we can learn from,” Bowles said. “A chance for us to provide some of the expertise that we have on our various campuses to enable the Marines here at MARSOC to perform at an even higher level than they do today.”