CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Staff noncommissioned officers with 1st Marine Logistics Group participated in a three-day indoctrination brief aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct.7-Oct.9, 2013.
The brief highlighted senior leaderships’ expectations of SNCOs and demonstrated how to be successful, respected leaders. The classes were designed to facilitate the transition from being a sergeant to a SNCO. The idea for the course originated from Sgt. Maj. Richard D. Thresher, sergeant Major, 1st MLG, the most senior enlisted Marine in the group.
“To me, is a father figure and a leader,” said Sgt. Daniel Best, supply chief, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st MLG. “It’s the same thing as a sergeant or a corporal to me, but you have more people under your charge.”
The attendees were given the unique opportunity to hear stories from their own leadership, and learn how to effectively lead as SNCOs. A wealth of information and personal insight circled around the base theater as Marines provided their opinions on the importance of a SNCO.
“If your Marines know you care and you are there for their benefit, no matter how hard you work, no matter what the mission is, they are going to work [extremely hard] for you, because they know you are willing to give up your time for them,” said Best, a native of Liberty, Texas.
Staff Sgt. Ryan Gaines, radio chief with Combat Logistics Battalion 5, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st MLG, believes staff sergeants have a very unique role. They are able to act as the information doorway between both sides of the chain of command.
“When I was a sergeant, I was very involved with my Marines,” said Gaines. “Now as a staff sergeant, I have to go to meetings, do paperwork, and write awards, but I’m still there if I try to be. We are right in the middle, and we have a very clear view in both directions, to the troops and higher.”
Staff sergeant is the last link in the chain of command that is able to effectively communicate between higher and the junior enlisted Marines, according to Gaines.
“It’s no secret that junior Marines tend to think ‘What are those guys up top thinking, have they lost their minds?’ and conversely, the leadership is looking down and wondering ‘What are those troops thinking? Have they lost it?’ As a staff sergeant, you can be the link,” said Gaines.
Best claims it is SNCOs’ duty to take care of the Marines under their charge, and do all they can to improve everyone around them.
“Knowing that, if you ask yourself if you have fulfilled your duty properly at the end of the day, you will know if you are doing it right,” said Best.