MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT -- Marines with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort underwent a commanding general’s inspection, Jan. 12 – 16.
Commanding general inspections review the unit in categories ranging from basic Marine Corps standards such as proper wear of uniforms, drill and physical fitness to standards specific to the unit.
“It provides an outside view of the unit’s operations,” said Gunnery Sgt. Steven Booth, operations chief for MALS-31 from Wooster, Ohio. “If a unit isn’t operating within established regulations, it impacts readiness and morale.”
While all Marine Corps units undergo this inspection biennially, CGIs vary from unit to unit based on unit capabilities and programs.
“For us, the CGI primarily focuses on the operations and headquarters element,” said Booth. “Every Marine is a rifleman, and our specific job as MALS is to support the flight line. In a lot of ways, those skills are separate and it’s important to evaluate both skill sets.”
One section with outstanding marks this year is the legal office for MALS-31, one of four sections to receive the highest grade of noteworthy. Last year, four sections received a noteworthy.
“There are three main reasons why we received a noteworthy in the legal section,” said First Lt. William Dunst, legal and personnel officer for MALS-31 from Phoenix, Az. “Processes and preparation, engaged leadership, and total quality management tie directly into process.
“My Marines work for me, but I also work for them. It’s vertical and lateral leadership,” added Dunst. “You have to put your best foot forward in everything that you do.”
Six months before the CGI, the MALS-31 legal section scoured through all of their processes to make sure guidelines were followed and appropriate fail safes in place, and began looking for improvement.
“My Marines have been relentless in their pursuit of perfection,” said Dunst. “They put in long hours and hard work. We reviewed and critiqued our processes, perfecting those processes to better help our customers and ensure communication and follow-up.”
MALS-31 has 55 programs on their inspection checklist. Programs have managers who evaluate their program every six months, from hazing and privacy act to promotions and training management.
“There’s absolutely a lot of preparation that goes into it,” said Booth. “The CGI gives the commanding officer an overview of the unit so he can know the strengths of his unit, and know what steps need to be taken to improve weak points.”