CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – A Marine recalls her early years in the Corps. Her priorities were to lead her fellow Marines and learn everything she could in order to teach her peers. Recently, her unwavering drive to go above and beyond was rewarded.
Sergeant Krystal Hicks, training noncommissioned officer, 1st Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, won her regiment’s meritorious sergeant board. The competition was held aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., July 24, 2013.
“I came to Supply Battalion as a corporal,” said Hicks, a Sicklerville, N.J., native. “I had about 23 Marines under me, and I was coming from a really small shop in Okinawa. Here I get to use my leadership traits a lot more because there are so many Marines.”
Hicks attributes her success to the NCOs and other leaders she had in Okinawa.
“She was always willing to learn and be a leader,” said Staff Sgt. Gabriel Soliz, training staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, 1st Supply Battalion, CLR-15, 1st MLG.
Soliz was Hicks’ NCO when she was a private first class in Okinawa.
Even as a private first class, Hicks was taking charge of her peers and motivating them, taking on a leadership role.
“She was always reliable,” said Soliz, a Los Angeles native. “When I gave her a task, she got it done. I didn’t have to shadow her.”
Hicks believes in paying it forward. She enjoys guiding junior Marines so they can have successful careers. She is particularly fond of the mentoring program.
“The mentoring program is one of the best things about the Marine Corps,” said Hicks. “I had great leaders as a junior Marine in Okinawa, and I owe it to the Marine Corps to do my best to provide the same thing for junior Marines now.”
The mentorship program played a huge role in shaping Hicks to be the Marine she is today.
“Someone cared for me and showed me the ropes from the very beginning of my career,” said Hicks. “Now it’s my turn. I truly care. When I look to the left and right, I see my brothers and sisters. Now I can give them the same opportunity I was afforded as a junior Marine.”
In addition to the mentorship she provides for her Marines, she went through a grueling course to earn the privilege of teaching Marines martial arts as a Marine Corps Martial Arts Program instructor.
“She always works hard for what she wants and leads from the front. She sets herself apart from everyone else and seems to motivate everyone naturally,” said Soliz.
As a Marine grows, they have the ability to observe their leadership and learn from their strengths. It is clear that Hicks has done a stellar job of this.
“It is my duty to mold Marines,” said Hicks. “The transformation isn’t over after boot camp. That is just the beginning. I am going to continue to give my Marines all the tools I can. That way they can go out and create great careers and enjoy success in the Marine Corps.”