MCAS BEAUFORT,S.C. --
Master Sgt. Kathryn Denham, Air Station operations chief, will begin walking down a road less traveled when she climbs the steps of Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to a member of Congress later this fall.
The Congressional Fellowship Program takes officers and staff non-commissioned officers and integrates them into the legislative branch of U.S. government for three years.
“I’ve always wanted to [be a part of CFP] since I heard about the program back in 2009,” Denham said. “I look at politics not so much as a career, but as a need to know or an interest to know how it works.”
Typical responsibilities for the first year include drafting legislation, floor debate preparation, planning and analysis of public policy, and serving as congressional liaisons to constituents.
Denham is the only Marine to apply for the CFP from the Tri-Command this year. She said with how unique and beneficial the program is, she is surprised more SNCOs don’t apply or even know about the program.
Denham has been selected for the program this year, the real test of her knowledge and talents will occur next year in Washington, D.C.
“A Marine on [Capitol Hill] among our lawmakers can have the same positive or negative impact that a recruiter in our communities or a Marine on liberty in a foreign countr y can have,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Richard Moore, Headquarters Marine Corps Office of Legislative Affairs senior enlisted advisor. “This can have a direct impact on the Department of Defense and the Marine Corps as congressional leaders shape policies that impact the armed forces.”
The selection process is very in-depth in order to choose the best possible Marines.
None of the applicants ever see each other and the requirements dive into more than a service record book.
According to Moore, Marine Corps leadership traits and principles that are required of the outstanding SNCO leaders can help in Washington, D.C.
The ability to work in a truly independent situation, strong leadership, professionalism, a welcoming personality, ability to articulate orally and in a written format, strong work ethic and drive are the traits desired of a Marine congressional liaison, Moore explained.
All of the standards are included in MARADMIN 572/11, to allow Marines ample time to prepare for the opportunity not only to have a unique experience, but to give the smallest branch of the military a voice in an arena where countless voices compete for attention.
“Without Marines on the Hill we don’t have a voice to provide the rest of the story,” Moore concluded.
Moore is scheduled to give a presentation aboard the Air Station Monday about the opportunities and requirements to apply for the program.
For more information regarding the CFP or the upcoming brief, contact you squadron career