MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Seventeen Marines, participating in their first professional military education course, the Corporals Course, are scheduled to graduate during a ceremony at the Base Theater, here, Friday.
The two-week resident course is designed to help the Marine noncommissioned officers build their leadership skills. NCOs are often referred to as the backbone of the Marine Corps.
The course, hosted by Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, is considered to be an important PME for those NCOs wanting to advance to the rank of sergeant, according to Gunnery Sgt. Morgon Latimore, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Corporals Course.
“The purpose of the course is to help build the young NCOs’ foundation in leadership by giving them basic tools for their tool box including esprit de corps, camaraderie, mentoring and counseling,” he said.
Throughout the course, Marines trained in combat conditioning, weapons handling, improvised explosive devices, land navigation, joint operations and tactical communication.
Not only did the course test the Marines physically, it also challenged them mentally with academic classes, including the history of the Marine NCO, promotion system, proficiency and conduct, operational risk management, public speaking and comprehensive exams.
Cpl. Jaymes Collins, administrative specialist, Kilo Battery, 2nd Battalion, 14 Marines, 4th Marine Division, Huntsville, Ala., said he wanted to attend the course to better himself as a Marine and leader.
“We spent many hours practicing basic drill movements and learning the proper use of the NCO sword and guidon for formations and ceremonies,” he said. “This was my first time using a sword and guidon.”
Collins advises future attendees of the course to use their time wisely.
“You can’t say I will do it tomorrow because everything is due tomorrow,” he said. “Teamwork and time management are very important parts of the course. You can’t do this course by yourself so you have to rely on other Marines to help you. Time management is key to successfully completing the course.”
Latimore said he wants Marines to take one thing back to their units - to take care of their Marines.
“As leaders, NCOs are responsible for showing their junior Marines they care about them by demonstrating compassion and understanding, which ultimately makes us a stronger fighting force,” Latimore said. “I want them to pass on what they have learned in this course and to keep the Corps’ traditions alive by remembering we are a brotherhood.”
This was Latimore’s first time teaching a course of this magnitude and he said it’s all about making well-rounded NCOs. He volunteered to be the SNCOIC because he felt he owed it to the NCOs and SNCOs who mentored and guided him throughout his 14-year career.
“I wanted to do my part and give back to the Corps what I have learned,” he said. “If it were not for the Marines who challenged me to set the bar higher and higher, I might not be a gunnery sergeant today. If I can change one of these Marine’s lives, then I have done my part.”