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Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
NCOs learn leadership skills through Corporals’ Course

By Marti Gatlin | | June 9, 2011

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To better lead and mentor junior Marines, 52 noncommissioned officers from nine units within 4th Marine Logistics Group graduated from a two-week resident Corporals’ Course here during a ceremony at the Base Theater, Friday.

Offered at Detachment 2, Supply Company, 4th Supply Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, Marine Forces Reserve, here, the Corporals’ Course, which began May 22, is considered a part of the Marine Corps’ professional military education and a stepping stone for those NCOs to advance to the rank of sergeant.

Class 1-11 members’ Cpl. John Simlik received the honor graduate award and Cpl. Daniel Adair won the gung ho award.

The 4th Marine Logistics Group, headquartered in New Orleans, consists of Headquarters and Service Battalion, 4th Supply Battalion, 6th Communications Battalion, 4th Landing Support Battalion, 6th Engineer Support Battalion, 4th Dental Battalion, 4th Medical Battalion, 6th Motor Transport Battalion and 4th Maintenance Battalion, according to 1st Sgt. Jeff Roosa, first sergeant, Headquarters and Supply Company, 4th Supply Battalion, 4th MLG.

Roosa noted that all the corporals attending the training are reservists, and the course is one of two hosted by 4th Supply Battalion, based out of Newport News, Va.

Providing education and skills necessary to lead Marines in combat and in garrison, the training consisted of subjects such as developing the NCO mindset, sword manual, combat conditioning, public speaking, mentoring junior Marines, leadership traits and principals, tactical communications and land navigation.

“This is a good location and they have subject matter experts,” Roosa said. “It went well last year and we want to repeat the success. It’s a good opportunity to bring the Marines here and take advantage of the subject matter experts. It’s a chance to train with peers, a chance at networking and leveraging their resources and past experiences, and just working together.”

Five instructors, who are sergeants and reservists with Det. 2, taught the corporals. They will also teach the second corporals’ course, which runs from June 5-17 here.

One such instructor, Sgt. Elizabeth Barnes, from Homer, N.Y., served as an instructor for the first time. A weather forecaster for five years, Barnes left active duty, joined the reserves and moved to the supply military occupational speciality.

When she’s not fulfilling her reservist duties, Barnes works at the Southwest Georgia Regional Airport in Albany, is the wife of an active-duty Marine stationed here with the military police and mother to a 2-year-old son.

The 25-year-old Marine cited her leadership experiences from performing weather forecasting in Japan and providing security in Al Asad, Iraq, from 2007-2008 that she used as examples for the corporals in the course.

“I hope the corporals will take away with them mostly to be motivated and love the Marine Corps,” Barnes said. “As an NCO you’re seen and are very important to the Marine Corps. They can lead Marines in all aspects of a mission. They’re from all different jobs and backgrounds. All are basic riflemen and can be put anywhere and do anything and do it well.”

Supply admin specialist Sgt. Trenton Mize, 26, from Gainsville, Fla., said he likes training the Marines and helping them become confident leaders themselves. The reservist works as a remodeler, handyman and air conditioning technician in the civilian sector.

One of the students, Cpl. Rebekah Fields, 21, from Estoria, Ore., administrative specialist, 6th Engineer Support Battalion headquarters, described the corporals’ course as “an exchange of Marine Corps and MOS information and leadership. In my platoon back home there are two corporals including me. I (learned) from the corporals here as well and we all (helped) each other.”

Fields added she will assist her junior Marines with physical training and teach them how to better pass their physical fitness tests and combat fitness tests as well as be better admin specialists.

When she’s not serving with the Marines, she works as a carpenter, building houses with her family in Oregon.

Fellow student, Cpl. Jason Connell, from Phoenix, Ariz., bulk fuelman, Bulk Fuel Company C, 6th ESB, is in charge of four Marines of a fire team back home.

The 35-year-old, who leads them in field operations and bulk fuel, said his improved leadership abilities he gained from the course will help his team become better leaders and Marines.


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