Promotion sparks emotion in Marine
Submitted by: Marine Forces Pacific
Story Identification Number: 20031119135517
Story by Lance Cpl. Jared M. Plotts

U.S. MARINE CORPS FORCES PACIFIC CAMP H.M. SMITH, Hawaii(Nov. 19, 2003) -- On any given day, choices can pass by without us so much as a glance. Some see an opportunity arise and take a chance. Others suffer through each workweek blind, looking for meaning in a cup of coffee and horridly shallow e-mails about the opposite sex. Staff Sgt. Tonya M. Longbine, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific security staff noncommissioned officer in charge, doesn't drink coffee, nor does she forward inept e-mails to ten of her closest work buddies. She saw her chance for an advanced promotion and took it.

According to the Marine Corp Promotion Manual section on accelerated promotions, the accelerated promotion program is designed to provide Marine sergeants and staff sergeants who are below the cutoff for eligibility due to their pay entry base date or date of rank consideration for a promotion, solely on their fitness report input.

Longbine came off active duty in June 2000 after serving three years as a computer tech at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay. She was assigned to the Inactive Regular Reserve before being called up as an Individual Mobile Augmentee for MARFORPAC in March 2002.

She was only a sergeant for two and a half years before getting promoted at the beginning of this month. She is in charge of four Marines and ensures the office runs as smoothly as possible.

"I would characterize her as a self-starter. She is a take-charge kind of Marine. The kind that gets things done before you have to tell her," said Mr. Gary K. Hanson, command security manager, Marine Forces Pacific.

Hanson is Longbine's officer in charge, and has been stationed here since 1994.

"I have done a lot of fitness reports, and have recommended many Marines for accelerated promotions. This is the first time it has worked," said Hanson.

Longbine's fitness report was submitted on the reserve promotion board along with her peers. The advanced promotion is a one time shot for the few Marines who get the opportunity.

"They look at my report just like everyone else's. The only difference is for every category evaluated, it has to be justified with comments," said Longbine.
Longbine credits her work ethic to the way she was raised, and said it has carried over into the Corps.

"I hardly ever leave this office for lunch. I try to be the first one here and the last one gone. That's just how I've always been," said Longbine.
According to her fellow coworkers, Longbine encompassed everything it takes to be a Marine staff NCO.

"I have worked alongside and under Staff Sgt. Longbine for the past two years. She has been a transcendent NCO, and I think she will make a pre-eminent staff NCO. She is also a friend," said Cpl. Jacob A. Isberner, personnel security non-commissioned officer.

"Anything I expect my Marines to do, I try to do that and more," said Longbine.

"This is way above any award. I didn't expect this at all," Longbine continued.
Staying hungry is something Longbine knows a lot about. Despite two bad knees, she hopes to put in a package for OCS (Officer Candidate School).