About once a month I used to give a speech to my Marines to remind them of their responsibility to uphold the legacy of the Marine Corps.
I used to say: "The pride we have when you wear that uniform is not because of anything we have done today. Marines who came before us created that. The pride that Marines will have in the years to come will be determined by what we do today. How proud will they be when they put on this uniform? That is our responsibility today."
Legacy is a powerful thing. It generates pride, accountability, and responsibility. It can be very fragile as well. It can takes years and years to build, but just one person can tear it down in a single moment. As leaders we must always understand our actions and the actions of those we lead, and their impacts on the legacy we are building. That legacy is our momentum. That legacy is our reputation. That legacy is what others perceive us to be, and perception is reality. Always be aware of the legacy you are building, no matter your endeavors.
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