The United States Marine Corps Shares Lessons in Leadership During the 2009 CIAA Tournament

Offers Free Inspirational Student Leadership Summit and Positive Guidance During Conference in Charlotte, NC

QUANTICO, Va., Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ -- Honoring its commitment to developing the next generation of leaders, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) is presenting a new collegiate leadership summit on Tuesday, February 24, as part of the 64th annual Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Tournament in Charlotte. The invite-only, one-day Leadership Forum is open to freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors, and designed to provide students with tools they need to graduate and excel in their career paths.

"It was important for us to offer students something more impactful than just the game experience," said Captain Jason Smedley. "Our new Leadership Forum provides students real-world skills they can use to succeed in their classroom, communities and beyond. The CIAA tournament has always been an exciting event that brings together athletes, teachers, students, coaches and other positive influencers, so it made sense to kick off the Forum here."

Based on the USMC's core 14 Leadership Traits, which include: justice, judgment, dependability, initiative, decisiveness, tact, integrity, enthusiasm, bearing, unselfishness, courage, knowledge, loyalty, and endurance; the Leadership Forum offers students the life lessons needed to progress positively. Formatted as a series of large and small group sessions, hands-on workshops and applicable exercises moderated by senior Marines, participants will gain invaluable skills to better balance their on-campus life, work habits and financial planning, as well as have the opportunity to engage their group leaders in deeper one-on-one discussions regarding developing solid success plans. The USMC has a long history of nurturing African American leaders. The USMC's recent Black History Month campaign entitled "Legacy of Leadership" pays homage to groundbreaking Marines who paved the way for the next generation. The national print and broadcast ads feature Major General Charles F. Bolden, Jr., the first African American Marine astronaut, and Lieutenant General Frank E. Petersen, the first African American Marine aviator and general. Both men have been a constant source of inspiration not only for their fellow Marines, but also the next generation of leaders.

Participants of the Leadership Forum will also have the ability to reach out to their group leaders for additional tips via email and social networking roundtables as they continue their college studies. The 2009 USMC CIAA Leadership Forum is being hosted by Johnson C. Smith University on Tuesday, February 24, from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm. To be selected for the forum, a student must be a currently enrolled undergraduate and have a 2.5 GPA or above.

"The Marines' leadership activations add such a unique and engaging element to the tournament experience," said CIAA Commissioner Leon Kerry. "We are pleased to have the United States Marine Corps return as an event partner for the eighth year in a row and provide this unique opportunity with our students."

Additional CIAA Marine Leadership Activities

CIAA attendees will also have the opportunity to interact with leading Marines throughout the entire conference. USMC representatives will be on-site from February 23 to March 2 to chat with students, athletes, parents and coaches, to engage in tournament activities and showcase the importance of leadership to conference goers.

On Wednesday, February 25, the USMC will participate in the CIAA's High School Day from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm. The Marines will also participate in the CIAA's Career Fair on Thursday, February 26, from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Senior Marines will be on hand to answer questions regarding life in the Marines and the requirements for joining the distinguished organization.

"At the core of every Marine is a quality citizen; someone who believes it is their responsibility to give back to the community," said Colonel Grover Lewis. "Marines understand better than anyone the impact a positive influence can have on shaping the lives of others."

For the eighth consecutive year, the United States Marine Corps (USMC) will also honor CIAA student athletes with USMC Excellence in Leadership Awards during the basketball tournaments. The unique award recognizes the student athletes for their display of excellence through teamwork, discipline, courage and leadership, and is bestowed to the winning team and coaches of the quarter, semi and final games.

The Excellence Award ceremonies will take place center court at the Charlotte Bobcats Arena at the completion of the Men's Quarter Finals on Thursday, February 26; the Men's and Women's semifinals on Friday, February 27, and at the completion of the Men's and Women's Finals on Saturday, February 28.

Immediately preceding the Men's Finals on Saturday, February 28, top Marines will take center court for the Flag Ceremony. Game attendees will be able to experience the CIAA tradition firsthand as well as honor their fellow countrymen and women. Senior male and female Marines will also deliver pre-game leadership pep talks to the men and women tournament finalists prior to the evening tip-offs.

For more information on the Marine Corps and opportunities available, visit or call 1-800-Marines.

USMC Schedule of Events (Abbreviated)
February 24 - February 28
CIAA Conference

Tuesday, February 24

Event: Student Leadership Forum
Location: Johnson C. Smith University
Time: 10:00 AM - 1:30 PM

Wednesday, February 25

Event: High School Day
Location: Charlotte Convention Center - Ballroom A-C
near 2nd Street Entrance
501 S. College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Time: 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Thursday, February 26

Event: CIAA Career Fair
Location: Charlotte Convention Center - Ballroom B
501 S. College Street, Charlotte, NC 28202
Time: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Event: Men's Leadership Award Presentations
Location: On the court
Times: Post-game Men's Qtr Finals @ 1pm
Post-game Men's Qtr Finals @ 3:30pm
Post-game Men's Qtr Finals @ 7pm
Post-game Men's Qtr Finals @ 9:30pm

Friday, February 27

Event: Women's Leadership Award Presentations
Location: On the court
Times: Post-game Women's Semi Finals @ 1pm
Post-game Women's Semi Finals @ 3pm

Event: Men's Leadership Award Presentations
Location: On the court
Times: Post-game Men's Semi Finals @ 7pm
Post-game Men's Semi Finals @ 9pm

Saturday, February 28

Event: Pre-game address for Women's Finals Teams
Location: Locker rooms
Time: Before 5pm tip/ TBD

Event: Women's Leadership Award Presentation
Location: On the court
Time: Post-game Women's Finals @ 5pm
Call time: 2 minutes on the game clock

Event: Pre-game address for Men's Finals Teams
Location: Locker rooms
Time: before 8pm tip/ TBD

Event: Flag Ceremony before Men's Finals
Location: Center Court
Time: before 8pm tip/ TBD

Event: Leadership Award Presentations (player and coach)
Location: On the court
Time: Post-game Men's Finals @ 8pm

SOURCE United States Marine Corps