CAMP DWYER, Afghanistan --
As the Marines graduated from the Lance Corporals Seminar here, Jan. 26, they each stepped forward to receive a certificate of completion. The certificates represented more than simply passing the course; they represented the first step for the junior Marines in learning to become effective noncommissioned officers in the Marine Corps.
Fifty-two Marines from 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward) and 1st Marine Division (Forward) attended the 3-day seminar, which instructed the junior Marines on leadership traits, leadership principles, mentoring, team building and cultural awareness.
The seminar was aimed to teach the junior Marines the fundamentals of Marine Corps leadership in preparation for when they become noncommissioned officers.
“The purpose of the Lance Corporals Seminar is to help them become better NCO's,” said Gunnery Sgt. Clarence Thomas, course director, Combat Logistics Battalion 3, 1st MLG (FWD). “This will give them the foundation needed to become good NCO's.”
The seminar focused on reviewing the required “Leading Marines” Marine Corps Institute course, and also provided a chance for the lance corporals to have a guided discussion with the first sergeants of CLB-3 who spoke about their personal experiences as leaders and becoming better at their military occupational specialties.
“The thing I enjoyed was talking to the first sergeants, who took time out of their day to come and speak to us,” said Lance Cpl. Benjamin M. Mann, data specialist, Headquarters and Service Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15 (Forward), 1st MLG (FWD). “They taught us the traits needed to be a good leader and what it takes to gain the respect of your subordinates as well as your peers.”
The class concluded with a written test, which Marines had to pass in order to graduate. The course curriculum should set the lance corporals up for success, said the director.
“I believe all the topics covered are the fundamental foundation to leadership in the Marine Corps,” said Thomas, 35, from Dallas. “That’s what sets us apart from the other branches, our basic leadership fundamentals.”
The training was beneficial to the Marines because of the guidance given by the instructors and guest speakers, including the commanding general of 1st MLG (FWD), Brig. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, who spoke about the expectations of an NCO in the Marine Corps.
A corporal is the first link in the chain of command and a very important one, said Hudson, which is why junior Marines should prepare themselves to assume the role of NCO.
When the class graduated, the Marines returned to their units within Regional Command (Southwest) and were encouraged to pass on what they learned to their fellow junior Marines and continue the tradition of strong leadership.
“This will allow the Marine Corps to continue the successes of the past,” said Thomas. “It’ll make sure we are instilling leadership principles for the leaders of tomorrow. Education is vital to the success of any organization, and this ensures the Marine Corps will still be the world’s greatest fighting force.”