CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan -- Leading from the front and by example comes naturally for Staff Sgt. Jaclyn S. Potter.
As a testament to Potter’s leadership, her current billet is unique in that it’s rare for an enlisted Marine to be selected as a platoon commander, a job usually reserved for officers.
"[I get] a feeling of pride and honor to be chosen by the commanding officer to lead the Marines outside the wire," said Potter, platoon commander for 3rd Platoon, General Support Transportation Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15 [Forward], 1st Marine Logistics Group [Forward]. "It shows confidence in my leadership."
"I can be intense at times and very firm, but that is only in the interest of the Marines, so everyone [makes it] home," said Potter, who successfully completed two tours in Iraq in 2006 and 2009.
Potter has never asked anyone to do something that she wouldn’t or hasn’t done herself, said 1st Sgt. Adam E. Fraser, company first sergeant of General Support Transportation Company, Clr-15 (FWD), 1st MLG (FWD).
"Whenever something is tasked to her, it’s a success," said Fraser. "She makes it happen."
It is important to complete the mission, but it is also important to take care of the junior Marines, explained Potter, 32.
"Mission accomplishment is essential, but it is also the Marines," Potter said. "You can delegate and give orders, but really it comes down to your junior Marines. They are the ones putting in the hard work."
The safety and welfare of the motor transport Marines are paramount, especially because of the duties they are expected to fulfill.
"We deliver critical gear and supplies to those on the frontlines," she said. "A lot of things function because of motor transport."
Hard work and dedication in leading the few and the proud breed of Marines began for Potter, when she joined the Marine Corps in June 1997 and served as a military policeman on Camp Lejeune for four years.
"There is a lot of pride being in the Marine Corps," Potter stated.
Shortly after her successful enlistment, Potter enrolled into college and became a personal trainer back in her hometown of Miami.
It wasn’t until 2006 that she answered the calling to the Corps, yet again. She re-enlisted into the Marine Corps Reserves and entered into the motor transport military occupational field.
"I missed it, there is nothing like camaraderie in the Marine Corps," said Potter.
As for how long she plans on staying in the Marine Corps, she said without hesitation, "I plan on sticking in for the long haul, planning on retiring."