MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Upon his arrival January 21, Sgt. Maj. Christopher Harper, sergeant major, Marine Corps Logistics Command, had several goals in mind. It was to better serve the Marines in his command, respond to any concerns and help improve the quality of life for them and their families.
Harper hosted the first two-day leadership seminar for Marines currently holding the rank of gunnery sergeant and above at the Base Conference Center June 14-15, specifically designed to address their needs and concerns.
“The purpose of this seminar is reset the mindset of our senior staff noncommissioned officers, reiterating the importance of sharing their experience, knowledge and time in the development and mentoring of our junior Marines and to discuss ideas for improvements that will better the readiness of the Marine Corps,” he said. “The end state is for our staff noncommissioned officers to return to their prospective commands smarter in all areas of leadership and more aware of the Corps current challenges.”
In addition to vetting agenda items to be discussed at the upcoming Headquarters Marine Corps Sergeants Major Symposium in August, the topics covered included ethical leadership, sexual assault, suicide prevention, selection boards, Semper Fit program, inspector general trends, educational benefits and information and personal security.
Lawrence Floyd, security manager, Logistics Command, said it is important for senior Marines to go back and educate their junior Marines on how to maintain security clearances once they have them.
“There are specific reporting requirements during and after they leave the Marine Corps,” he said. “If Marines have personal issues, are on medications, travel overseas or if their spouse is from another country, it is important to keep their leadership and security manager informed.”
Gunnery Sgt. Terrell E. Rountree, equal opportunity advisor, Logistics Command, said the leadership seminar keeps him focused and grounded on what is going on in the Marine Corps and what he and other SNCOs need to be doing as leaders.
“It is important for us to prepare the junior Marines to take over our leadership positions once we move on. I hope Logistics Command continues to have this type of training to keep the senior staff focused on the mission of the Marine Corps,” he said. “Sergeant Major Harper has brought something new to the command that we can continue to grow and build on for years to come.”
Dana Wallace, education services officer, Marine Corps Community Services, MCLB Albany, discussed the importance of lifelong learning for Marines and the educational benefits they are entitled to receive while on active duty and after they get out.
“Any Marine who wants to take college classes are required to take College 101, which assists them with how to apply for college and utilize tuition assistance,” she said. “Marines receive $4,500 annually to take college classes and if they do not take advantage of it, the federal government will take it back.”
Wallace said she is proud to say that 40 percent of the Marines stationed here are taking college classes and her goal is to increase that number even more. Representatives from the local colleges come to the base once a month and her office can also assist with choosing a school.
“If it were up to me, I wouldn’t let a Marine out of the Corps without at least an associate’s degree,” Wallace said. “It is just that important and you should certainly urge them to take classes, as well as yourself.”
“Because we are such a small base, we do not offer classes here, but there are several colleges out in town and within a short drive.”
Harper said it was important that the 45 senior enlisted Marines from all three logistics commands, including Blount Island Command, Jacksonville, Fla., and Barstow, Calif., understand their roles so they can share this and other important knowledge with their Marines.
“We want them to step up and be mentors to the younger Marines, teaching them how to be better prepared as they rise through the ranks,” Harper said.