ABOARD USS KEARSARGE --
From boot camp, every Marine is expected and trained to be a leader. Recently, 47 Marines with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) successfully completed 13 demanding academic days to graduate Corporals’ Course, taking the next step since boot camp in their journey toward becoming stronger leaders.
The graduation ceremony, held in the forecastle of the USS Kearsarge, started with an invocation given by Religious Program Specialist Chi San Yeung followed by a speech from guest speaker Sgt. Maj. Arturo Andrade with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 261 (Reinforced).
The Corporals’ Course is the first professional military education (PME) class Marines receive as noncommissioned officers on their path to developing leadership skills.
“This is the first building block on your way to being great leaders,” said Andrade. “You are the first line of leadership and the burden falls on you to ensure that job gets done,” continued the former drill instructor during his address to the newly graduated Marines.
The two-week course challenged the Marines both physically and mentally. It consisted of classes like close-order drill, leadership training, counseling, customs and courtesies, urban warfare, and offensive and defensive tactics.
According to Cpl. Steven Anderson from Lafayette, La., the class posed a great challenge by introducing so much information in so little time. But, according to Anderson, the results were well worth the effort and he would strongly encourage all NCOs to take the class.
“You don’t find leadership, leadership finds you,” said Cpl. Glen Saylors with the Landing Support section of the Combat Logistic Battalion 22.
According to Glen, the class structure and period of instruction has given him the skills he needs to take charge of his Marines.
The Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU (SOC) are currently on a scheduled six-month deployment.