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4th MLG's senior leaders address Marines at corporal's course

By Verda L. Parker | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | August 5, 2015


Marines taking the Corporal's Course at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany were visited by top leaders from the 4th Marine Logistics Group, New Orleans, Louisiana, recently.

Brig. Gen. Patrick J. Hermesmann and Sgt. Maj. Gary Smith, 4th MLG, addressed corporals, who attended the two-week training as part of their Professional Military Education on leadership.

Hermesmann and Smith discussed the corporals' value to the Marine Corps and encouraged each to practice good leadership skills throughout their careers.

"All of you (corporals) are the force within the MLG," Hermesmann said. "You are the Corps. You're going to see yourself as a Marine for the rest of your life. (We) talk about a lot of things to include good order and discipline. If we don't have good order and discipline in our organization, we're done. You've got your little grid square, right? If you take care of your grid square, we're going to be okay."

Hermesmann also urged the Marines to include "four ships" as they journey through their time in the Corps: "leadership, mentorship, partnership and friendship."

"The 'four ships' are all pretty much intertwined with one another," Hermesmann added. "Everybody needs to have a mentor, to have a friend, to have a partner and to exhibit (good) leadership skills to make sure we're engaging with each other. It's all about taking care of one another."

Smith's voice echoed throughout the classroom as he shared his leadership philosophy to the corporals in training.

"Now, we're teaching you a lot of stuff here at the Corporal's Course," Smith said. "But, today, I'm going to give you a little wisdom. I want to tell you a few things that you should not possess as you set your foundation as leaders.

"I call (these) my 'deadly vowels,' (A-E-I-O-U)," Smith explained. "The 'A' is for arrogance; the 'E' is for ego; the 'I' is for individual; the ‘O’ is for the one, and 'U' is for unapproachable.

"You are the executors in the Corps," Smith pointed out to the corporals. "But, there are some things you're going to face that are not in this book. When you go back to lead our Marines, the instructors may not give you a peer of the platform; it will come from experience; it comes from getting that base knowledge. That's why professional development is so important. At least, once or twice a week - this is every Marine - you ought to have your face in some type of professional development publication. You owe that to your Marines.”