MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania --
“I am an NCO dedicated to training new Marines and influencing the old. I am forever conscious of each Marine under my charge, and by example will inspire them to the highest standards possible,” recited Lance Cpl. Andy Davis, a rifleman with Black Sea Rotational Force 13, from the non-commissioned officer’s creed during a Corporals Course graduation in Mihail Kogalniceanu Military Base, Romania, June 24, 2013. “I will never forget that I am responsible to my commanding officer for the morale, discipline and efficiency of my Marines.”
Corporals Course is a three week long course designed to teach Marine NCO’s and aspiring NCO’s military and leadership skills such as sword and guidon drill, counseling techniques and public speaking.
“What I enjoyed most about the course was learning different leadership traits and techniques,” said Corporal Alexander Micciche, a combat engineer with BSRF-13, and Denver, Colo., native. Micciche received the “Gung-Ho” award; a peer-selected honor bestowed upon the most motivated Marine at a Corporals Course. “It really opened my eyes at the different ways to lead because every Marine has a different personality.”
The Marines who attended Corporals Course learned the same leadership techniques that BSRF-13 has discussed during NCO development seminars hosted in several countries such as Macedonia, Latvia, Serbia and Azerbaijan during the past four months. The title of non-commissioned officer is considered a prestigious rank by many Marines. Not only does it mark the beginning of a Marine’s NCO career, but it is the first rank that requires more than just time in grade to become eligible for promotion. Marines have to strive to get the highest physical fitness test, combat fitness test, and rifle qualification scores and they have to complete professional military education classes in order to get a high composite score. The composite or “cutting” score is how the Marine Corps determines who will make the “cut” to the next rank.
“Being a leader of Marines is a great responsibility,” said Davis, a Richmond Hill, Ga., native and the honor graduate for Corporals Course class 44-13. “Your commanding officer is expecting you to execute orders, maintain the morale and well-being of your Marines. In order to accomplish this you have to be the best Marine possible.”
Leadership traits are a big part of what Marines practice at Corporals Course. Learning and observing different styles of leadership gives Marines what they consider being a valuable tool.
“One of the biggest things I have taken away from this course is learning how to be a leader,” said Micciche. “I used to only know how to be an aggressive type of leader. I have realized that although it can be a good leadership skill in the Marine Corps, sometimes listening to the Marines and receiving input from perspective can accomplish the mission more effectively.”