Leadership Excursion to USMC Quantico

by Leadership Programs


Thu, Apr 4, 2024 11:30 AM –

Sat, Apr 6, 2024 2:00 AM EDT (GMT-4)

Add to Calendar

USMC Quantico

Quantico, VA, United States



Leadership Excursion to USMC Quantico

Excursion Dates: Thursday-Friday, April 4-5 (arriving back in Ithaca approximately 2am on Saturday April 6). Please note that this is during spring break. You must be able to attend the excursion in its entirety to participate.  

How to Apply:  The application is available here and opens on January 24. Applications are due by 11:59pm on February 11. Please note that a valid passport is required for entry onto the base. Please read all event details before applying. 

Excursion Overview

This excursion is a unique opportunity to draw upon the programs, facilities, and expertise of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) to further develop your leadership skills at its Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. Utilizing its famed Leadership Reaction Course and Combat Course, this two-day excursion provides an intense, hands-on learning experience that emphasizes fast decision-making, team-based problem solving, effective strategic thinking, and leadership under pressure.

For 24 hours, a team of 15 Johnson students will join students from the Wharton School of Business and Penn State in individual and team-based leadership scenarios similar to those encountered by officer candidates for the Marine Corps. Students will be formed into small "fire teams" and will be asked to solve logistical and strategic problems. They can expect to face navigation challenges, surmount physical barriers, establish plans of action, and solve tactical problems.Students will receive both guidance and feedback from Marine officers.

Excursion Schedule
Thursday, April 4

  • 11:30am Meet in Sage and be ready to depart
  • 12 noon: Depart Sage Hall by bus for travel to Quantico, Virginia
  • Evening: Arrive at USMC Quantico. Training begins immediately upon entry into the base
  • Overnight: Students sleep in USMC barracks

Friday, April 5

  • Early morning (sunrise): Training begins and lasts until the late afternoon
  • 5:00-7:00PM: Reception with Marines and students from other programs
  • 7:00PM: Johnson team departs USMC Quantico to return to Ithaca by bus
  • 2:00AM: Approximate arrival time, Sage Hall (April 6)

Participants are also expected to attend a mandatory pre-excursion packing and logistics briefing, which will be scheduled after participants are selected. 

What to Expect & How to Prepare

Excursion participants will go through a Leadership Reaction Course and a Combat Course. There are normal physical risks associated with this venture such as sprains, strains, and soreness. There is also a moderate risk of injury while climbing ropes and completing the combat courses. Students should expect to get dirty. Please note that students will not be able allowed to wear contact lenses during the training--you can wear glasses instead. No pre-training is necessary, but students should be in reasonable physical shape and be prepared to be physically challenged and active all day. Additionally, you must understand that you will be engaged in physical activity that involves physical risks, as outlined above.

What Students are Saying about the Leadership Excursion to USMC Quantico

“The [excursion] helped drive home the mentality that the 70% solution now is better than the 100% solution when it’s too late."

“The most rewarding experience for me was watching my fellow classmates persevere through extremely challenging and uncomfortable scenarios.”

“It was an honor to work with, and learn from, those that lead the officer training at Quantico. It gave me a renewed appreciation and gratitude for our armed forces.”

“[During the training, you learn that] it comes back to the focus. When you’re really uncomfortable, can you get the job done? Can you listen to your leader, can you pay attention to your teammates, can you focus on the goal? In extreme situations, how do you perform?”

Eligibility: All Ithaca residential MBAs who are not attending another spring break trekare eligible to apply. Students who signed up for another spring break trek are NOT eligible.

Dates: April 4-5, 2024. Students must be available to leave Sage Hall at 12 noon on Thursday, April 4 and must travel with the group by bus to and from USMC Quantico. You must be able to attend the excursion in its entirety in order to participate. If you have concerns about the travel portion of the excursion, reach out to Jackie Barrett.

Credit: Participation in the excursion will count for 0.5 LSP credits on a satisfactory/ unsatisfactory basis.

Program Fees: There is no fee associated with this excursion. Students who are selected, however, must fully commit to the experience.

About Leadership Expeditions and Excursions

Leadership Expeditions and Excursions are a chance to leave Ithaca and dig in, full-time, to your leadership development. These activities are designed to give students the opportunity to go through the Johnson leadership learning cycle of instruction, experience, and review multiple times in an intensive, condensed timeframe. 

If you have questions about this expedition, please contact Jackie Barrett, Associate Director of Leadership Programs.

All photos by Alex Chang.

Dress Casual (jeans ok)

Hosted By

Leadership Programs | Website | View More Events
Co-hosted with: MBAI, MBAII

Contact the organizers