Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, GA --
Know yourself and seek self-improvement is one of 11 Marine Corps leadership principles learned during recruit training.
Lance Cpl. Cameron Perry, administrative specialist with Military Personnel Center, Military Personnel Branch, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, has learned there is a deeper meaning of this key leadership principle. He credits the principle with helping him earn MCLB Albany’s Marine of the Quarter, recently. “Lance Corporal Perry was selected to be the Marine of the Quarter from a group of his peers,” Sgt. Maj. Conrad E. Potts, sergeant major, MCLB Albany, said. “There were four senior staff noncommissioned officers on the board and Perry was selected based on his annual training record scores, personal appearance, bearing, confidence and military knowledge.”
Perry, a 23-year-old native of Natchitoches, La., said he feels no different now and his view of the Marine Corps has not changed since receiving the award. “Lance Corporal Perry’s accomplishment as Marine of the Quarter reflects greatly on the kind of Marines here in MilPers,” Sgt. Chris Sinclair, administrative specialist, MilPers, said. “Marine of the Quarter is an accomplishment that’s not given but earned and Lance Corporal Perry’s hard work has paid off.” Perry, a black belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, said he used a mistake he made earlier in his career to better himself to earn his current honor. Marines, like Perry, are trained to improvise, adapt and overcome; however, his true test came when he faced consequences of a mistake he made.
Perry learned the know yourself and seek self-improvement principle during recruit training, but it was not until he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, that he truly understood its meaning. While Perry was stationed there he received a non-judicial punishment and was demoted to the rank of private first class. Perry was familiar with the regulations relating to an NJP and knew the road ahead would not be easy. Since his NJP, Perry said he thinks about the Corps’ principles every day and is constantly working on all areas in of his life, on and off duty. Perry noted there are two parts to the principle. “To know yourself means to know your strengths and weaknesses and then you will know exactly what to improve,” he said. “If you are weak in an area such as attitude or character, work on it. Seek self-improvement basically means you know where you are now and where you want to go.” Perry admits it has been a struggle to bounce back from his NJP. “I have learned from my mistakes, but it is through my mistakes that I have become a better person,” he said. “There is always room for improvement and I am making progress.” Perry is using the MOQ as a stepping stone to get to his final goal, retiring with the rank of sergeant major and 30 years in the Corps. “I still feel that I can do so much more than this,” he said. “My goals are still the same and presently I’m looking forward to pinning on the rank of corporal and completing my first enlistment.”
He has set several milestones including one-, five-, 10- and 20-year goals. Within the next year, Perry plans to begin the process of applying for Marine Security Guard duty. His five-year goal is to attain the rank of staff sergeant and become a drill instructor, preferably at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif. At his 10-year mark, Perry wants to achieve the rank of first sergeant and be in charge of a company of Marines. When Perry reaches 20 years of service, he hopes to have obtained the rank of sergeant major. “In 20 years, I want to be the senior enlisted Marine of a battalion so I can help and mentor junior Marines,” he said. Even though Perry outlined his long-term goals, he still lives by the know yourself and seek self-improvement principle which carried him through his NJP and earned him the MOQ. He makes sure junior Marines know it as well. “It’s a good feeling to have been nominated, but feels even better to have won,” Perry said. “This just shows that you can bounce back from adversity.”