June 14 is a red-letter for more than 140 Cleveland youth as they came face to face with Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos to learn one of the most important lessons in their life – leadership and its important role to become a better person.
The Marine Week Cleveland Leadership Academy conference was part of the 6-day experience that began on June 11 and ends June 16. The children, ages 10-15 from Cleveland and Brook Park, were chosen for the program on a first come, first serve basis. They took daily field trips to view military demonstrations and static displays.
Gen. Amos explained the purpose of the academy and the mission of Marines in providing the tools and traits of leadership, such as honor, courage, commitment, integrity, and selflessness.
“Somebody that will standup and do the right thing — that is what we are looking for. We are looking for young men and women with character,” Amos said.
Academy officials said that the conference is not about searching for the next generation of Marines, but mostly about developing the leaders of tomorrow. Students received insights on leadership traits that will make them a better person. Aside from emphasis on life skills, the Academy officials also discussed the important things in life and why they are important.
Maj. Frank L. Moore, action officer and instructor for the academy, offered a meaningful reminder to the students by emphasizing that leadership has to be enduring and go beyond Marine Week.
You have to have the bearing, the integrity to do the right thing at the right moment, for the right reason,” he added. “If you do, you all will go on and do great things.”