MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY -- A first term corporal was recently named MCLB Albany noncommissioned officer of the quarter for the third quarter of Fiscal Year 2003.
Cpl. Dexter White, a Buena Vista, Ga., native and Finance Office travel clerk here, has been enlisted in the Marine Corps for three years and nine months and plans to reenlist, he said.
White has enjoyed the Marine Corps so far because it is challenging, and when challenges don't come his way, he goes out and finds them.
Never having gone before a board before White was interested in gaining experience from the base's NCO of the Quarter board. He asked his noncommissioned officer in charge if he could represent the Finance Office.
"I always wanted to be on a board," White said. "I wanted to be recognized for the things I have accomplished and what I know."
Sgt. Lucas Crider, finance office travel NCOIC, has a lot of confidence in White's abilities and performance and was hoping he would volunteer for the board. When White asked him if he could, Crider's mind was already made up.
"He [White] is a good leader and NCO," Crider said. "He shows a lot of potential. I just wish they could've seen him drill. He really does a great job."
Crider has worked with White since January 2003 and has been impressed with the corporal's appearance and leadership abilities since he met him.
"He has learned a lot in the short time he's been in the Corps," Crider said. "He is very mature for his age and knows a lot more about the Corps and his job than most of his peers."
White was surprised when he won the NCO board because he had trouble controlling his nerves and did not do as well as he anticipated. He missed three or four questions and he felt he did not make a good first impression. He is glad his biggest fear did not happen -- drawing a blank and forgetting the answers to the questions he was asked.
White was not too concerned about not knowing the answers to the questions because he studied hard for two weeks prior to the board, but he was afraid his mind would go blank.
When White was asked why he should be the NCO of the Quarter, his nerves took over and his mouth started spitting out an answer before his brain could even think, he said.
"It was one of those things where you know you are talking, but not sure of what is coming out of your mouth," White said. "But whatever I said must have been the answer they were looking for."
White said he was surprised he beat the other Marines who were nominated for NCO of the Quarter.
"All the other Marines were really competitive and all had a good chance of winning," he said.
With this experience under his belt, White knows what to expect and is confident he will perform better at the NCO of the Year board.
Although he is currently a travel clerk, White is considering a different occupational specialty when he reenlists. With the dream of someday becoming an FBI agent, White is trying to move into the Corps' intelligence field, so later in life the transition will be easier.
If he is unable to transition to the intelligence field, he hopes to become an M-1 Abrams Main Battle Tank crewman. White has always been interested in becoming a grunt and the thought of becoming a tank crewman fascinates him.
"It's something I just always wanted to do," White said. "I just want to get the chance to blow stuff up."
This "office warrior" originally chose his current occupational specialty because he knew if he had an office job he would have a better chance to complete some college courses. He has almost earned enough credits to get his associate's degree and hopes to do so within the next year.
For now, White will continue to strive for excellence and look to the Marines around him for motivation.
"It's your career and you have to make the best of it, whether it's just for four years or 20," White said. "To be successful you need to do your best at everything you do, no matter how insignificant you think it is be."