View Full Version : Leathernecks learn leadership

08-22-04, 07:44 AM
Leathernecks learn leadership
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification #: 200481820014
Story by Lance Cpl. T. J. Kaemmerer

CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan — (August 11, 2004) -- “I am (a noncommissioned officer) dedicated to training new Marines and influencing the old,” bellowed 19 newly promoted corporals in unison.

Students shouted the words of the NCO’s Creed every morning and afternoon, before starting class, to motivate their instructors during the Corporal’s Leadership Course here, Aug. 9-20, at Division Schools, 3rd Marine Division.

These students received 91 hours of leadership instruction to give them the confidence they need to take on their new roles as NCOs.

“All newly promoted corporals most definitely need to participate in this training,” said Gunnery Sgt. Larnell G. Mills, chief instructor and operations chief. “As noncommissioned officers, many of these Marines don’t know what it takes to be leaders.

“During this course we equip them with the tools they need to lead their junior Marines, and we sharpen the tools they already have,” Mills said.

To prove they can be worthy leaders for their Marines, these newest additions to the NCO ranks must pass three uniform inspections, two of which are unannounced, a physical fitness test, three written exams, and one drill and sword manual practical application test. They must maintain an 80 percent average after each graded event in order to continue training and graduate, according to Mills.

“The tests are really tough here,” said Class Commander Cpl. Nicholas L. McCulloch, a logistics vehicle system operator with 7th Communication Battalion. “It’s a really fast-paced course, and if you want to learn the material and make yourself better, you need to study.

“On top of the group study sessions, I go home and study for about four hours a night,” McCulloch added.

Along with the book knowledge and drill techniques, the Marines learn that it is imperative to keep lines of communication open with their subordinates, explained Corporal’s Leadership Course Instructor Sgt. Mark McBride, a heavy equipment operator with 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 3rd Force Service Support Group, who is currently assigned to the school. He said NCOs need to be role models who their Marines can look up to and trust, especially when those Marines’ lives are many times in the NCOs’ hands.

“Your Marines need to know you aren’t going to run and tell your friends what they told you,” McBride told the class.

The Marines have a new level of responsibility and are expected to live up to it. The instructors are all motivated to teach, and that, in return, motivates the Marines to learn as much as they can, explained Cpl. Mike S. Churchill, a student and bulk fuel specialist with 9th ESB.

“Not everyone has an easy time in the leadership course,” Mills said. “But, when they first get here we let them know this is not boot camp. They’re leaders and we treat them as such.

“As a senior leader, I have a responsibility to train these Marines, and I know that not everyone can be trained the same way,” Mills said. “All they have to do is express a desire to
learn and I will find a way to reach them.”


CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan — Cpl. JerrMichael M. Canson prepares to return his noncommissioned officer’s sword to the scabbard in his left hand here Aug. 12. 19 corporals received 91 hours of instruction designed to give them the confidence they need to take on their new roles as leaders at the Corporal’s Leadership Course, Division Schools, 3rd Marine Division, here Aug. 9-20. Canson is a field radio operator with 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion. Photo by: Lance Cpl. T. J. Kaemmerer