A Conversation With Lieutenant General Martin R. Steele, US Marine Corps (Retired)


Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and raised in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Lieutenant General Martin R. Steele enlisted in the Marine Corps in January 1965. He rose from private to three star general, serving three tours of duty on two continents, with a tenure as the longest serving Chief Operating Officer in the history of the Marine Corps. He culminated his military career as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Plans, Policies, and Operations at Headquarters, US Marine Corps, in Washington, DC in August of 1999. General Steele has broad experience in establishing and managing cutting edge strategic policies and programs. A decorated combat veteran with 34 1/2 years of service, he is a recognized expert in the integration of all elements of national power (diplomatic, economic, informational, and military) with strategic military war plans and has served as an executive strategic planner/policy director in multiple theaters across Asia. His extraordinary career was chronicled as one of three principles in the award winning military biography Boys of ’67 by Charles Jones.

Upon his retirement from active duty in 1999, he served as President & CEO of the Intrepid Sea-Air Space Museum, the largest naval museum in the world. Under his leadership, they adopted the mission statement of “Honor our heroes, educate the public, and inspire our youth about the price of freedom”. This creative branding strategy resonated with all audiences and was the early catalyst for the transformation of the Intrepid from just another New York City destination location to the near icon status it enjoys today among educators, historians, international visitors, and military veterans. Shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001, General Steele invited the FBI to use the Intrepid to conduct their investigations. Within 48 hours, Intrepid was once again in service as the temporary headquarters for over 750 FBI agents.

Currently General Steele is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Steele Partners, Inc., a strategic advisory and leadership consulting company. This company’s mission is to develop uncommon leaders, in Fortune 500 companies, who understand how to translate strength of character and high ethical behavior into bottom line success. General Steele has led a philanthropic transition program to assist exiting Marines into private sector jobs throughout the county. The program was offered at no cost to the Marine participants, the Marine Corps or to the companies that provide employment opportunities for Marines completing the program. The results included overwhelming positive feedback from the participants who stated the program had a “life changing” impact on their lives.


Forming values 

Interesting how not only his mother, but the community where he was raised impacted the formation of General Steele's basic values, to love and respect one another. 

What was the community like where you grew up and how did that overall environment impact your values system? 

Reader Comments (1)

This innovative marketing technique resonated with all viewers and was the early catalyst for the modification from just another New York City destination location.
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January 2, 2014 | Registered Commenterjohn dane
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