A safety brief and micromanagement lesson


Gentlemen & Ladies, I wanted to pass on this Safety brief that I (personally) passed on to the hard working young and old men and women who work for our Company. It was a compilation of previous briefs I was given and then gave as years passed. MY leaders passed to me as a young Marine Leader to instill basic awareness In order to keep the unit safety minded on this day of feast and celebration of family, friends, and to honor those who came before us. You see…..

Yesterdays Brief-

Boys, I’m proud of all you do and have accomplished this year. Some need improvement and and we should all strive for excellence. I want each and every one of you to enjoy Tomorrow with your family or find a family to enjoy it with, if you need to come over and enjoy it with mine. So here are a few things I want you EACH to consider because the standards are high around here and if you FU%^%K up Tomorrow and do something stupid You’re going to have to go and I want to see each and every one of you here and motivated after Turkey day.

Rule # 1 DON’T FU%^k up Tomorrow!

2. Don’t drink if you cant handle your alcohol.
3. Don’t drive stupid and Gavigan team leader  one you make sure if anyone is traveling his car has been looked at with him and it’s OK to travel.

4. We all know Turkey day sometimes equals Family violence SO

a. Don’t beat your wife, your kids, your in laws, or your neighbors
b. If you have a “un-sat” family ( You know who I’m talking to so I wont call you out in the group) remove the alcohol and firearms from your home today and revert back to rule # 1.
c. have your wife only allow Sporks, and the plastic ones.. no sharp knives… knives + alcohol or weapons lead to family violence
d. If I’ve missed anything in this Gavigan Group Safety Brief just revert back to rule number one

5. And if your life sucks so bad You want to kill yourself don’t do it around your family, and keep it clean.. Nobody wants clean your lack of brains off anything… Life sucks and wear a helmet, Lock it down.. Oh and those of you that are single always wear a helmet. Kids are great but expensive!

Any questions? Here is an early pay check thanks for what you do, clean these jobs up and enjoy your time off because we have a lot to do after the break tomorrow.. team leaders you got ’em!

Total time 3 Minutes

ATA operations in east Africa

ATA operations in east Africa



So I found several examples of childish high school power point lectures and thought… if You treat Marines like Children then Children is what you’re going to get.

Then I found the Commandants safety website resources and templates… Is this my Beloved Corps’ Real website… Does My Commandant Directly Publish small unit leadership through his office, via Power Points a 10th grader should get to the Warriors who travel the globe and Protect America?

When Did Marines ever start hearing the Commandants Voice, I tried to remember? Hell in 11 years I only met one and only saw their pictures on the walls. we heard their words spoken via a Marine who spoke his message aloud for us to hear… at the Ball each Year.


After speaking with my peers, who now are at Leadership levels running the Corps, I heard horror stories of Senior leadership Power point safety presentations (hours on hours), 86 page documents unit commanders had to publish to get a 4 day break, more power point presentations, more stupid common sense talks by E-9s and Senior COLs and Above) (Our Sgt Majs kill Marines and their presence struck fear, they Lead the NCO Pack like an Old gray haired Wolf … they did not even use a computer… they could warm a coffee cup with their bare rough skin hands and stories of Battles.. they lead Marines and had admin POGs type papers).

I Pondered yesterday? is this why the Corps seems to struggle a little?  Where have the NCOs ability to lead and SNCOs to Mentor gone? Is Power Point and Micromanagement Killing the Fighting Ethos of My Corps? Where will the Sgt Maj and Flag Officers be when Marines are killing our Nations Enemy on the Battlefields of tomorrow? Certainly not on the Hill. Sgt Majs Will not be leading a night raids they will be drinking Coffee in the Command center, It’s young mans game! I thought we trained like we Fought in the Corps…You see!! Marines are always going to make Mistakes. This is how we learn… and Grow… though intense leadership positions at young Marine Years. the stupid and weak are eaten by the pack… That is the Corps’ way. We will never, nor have we ever, prevented the 1-2 % of idiots doing from doing stupid things… its merely a cross section of society and a cost of doing business. You Crush them publicly to prove the point!

It seems The Rank/Pay grade chasers might be ruining our Corps. Afraid to fail does not equal Grow and train.

My Marine Corps had two very Direct command and control statements.. and It was embarrassing if anyone senior felt they needed to speak to My Marines.. YES as one of my Favorite CMCs Replied with aggression and respect during Congressional Briefs “MY MARINES” for each Question. He was the Only Senior Officer from any Service to own responsibility for his service members… Proudly… The Congress might give permission on things, the President Might Issue the Order. But the leadership starts and stops at the Service level. Skinny armed Politicians have no place in Command and control. Our Military and many Military Units for thousands of years have been successful because you earn your way to the top and command and control is necessary to do battle and lead. Senior Officers have no place dictating to small unit leaders directly. It undermines the system

The Command and Control was for most situations,  after a mission brief or Commanders intent. After that unit leaders would state:

” Sir I got them”


” You got em?” Roger… “Good to go!!! Handle it”

The Corps has always worked. You see When I Carried a sword or Rifle. It was simple, efficient, hard working, and Produced through decentralization of Authority and Leadership. I always looked at the other services during joint Forces operations and thought.. Thank GOD I’m a Marine… Our units empowered and delegated more authority at the Cpl and Sgt rank then Their E-7s had.. It seemed as if the Other services were built through Micromanagement.


Billy Gavigan | President Gavigan Group | billy@gavigangroup.com