MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
Good leadership is the foundation the Marine Corps was built
on. It is the art of inspiring Marines to rise above self-concern, placing the
team first and accomplishing the mission. It requires judgment, integrity,
honesty, decisiveness and many other attributes expected of Marines on a daily
basis. Marines strive to be the best in everything they do, but few stand out
and are recognized.
For the second time, Sgt. Mark Saeger was awarded the Marine
Aircraft Group 31 non-commissioned officer of the quarter during a ceremony
held aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Sept. 1. Saeger is an aircraft
ordinance technician with Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31 aboard
Leaders who display confidence in their abilities and carry
themselves in a manner befitting of the Marine Corps are selected to compete
against others. Marines are tested on knowledge, bearing and overall confidence
in their abilities.
Saeger won three boards to earn the award. “There was a
board in my department, then one in MALS-31, and finally one for all of
MAG-31,” said Saeger.
The selection process starts at the lowest unit level as one
representative from the work section can represent the unit at a board. If the
Marine wins, then they go on to represent the next level of the unit on the
next board and so on. Saeger conquered that quest twice.
“I think this Marine is outstanding,” said Michael
Fleischbein, the presenter of the award. “He absolutely shows leadership
qualities and this is the second time he hasreceived this award.”
Saeger, from Allentown Penn., has been in Marine Corps three
and a half years, uncommon for Marines of his rank.
“I was a contract private first class out of boot camp then
I picked up meritorious Lance Cpl,” said Saeger. “After that I won the
meritorious corporal and sergeant boards in Beaufort.”
Saeger strives to be the best so he can be a role model for
his Marines. He works with his Marines on professional military education to
further their careers and their opportunities in life.
“Sgt. Saeger comes to work every day and puts every ounce of
energy into his Marines,” said Cpl. Cassinda Kottwitz, an aircraft ordinance
technician with MALS-31. “Every day he reiterates how important it is to take
pride in everything we do.”
Saeger’s motivation to be a better leader not only comes
from the Marines but also from the betterment of the Corps.
“I want to be the sergeant that Marines can look up to and
motivate them to reenlist,” said Saeger. “I want to keep good Marines around.”
Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort is Saeger’s first duty
station and he takes particular pride in being stationed here.
“I love it here. I think I have a lot to offer the Marines,”
said Saeger. “A lot of them are interested in learning and bettering themselves
which helps me with my leadership. It’s good to work with dedicated Marines.”
The next stop in his career is Marine Corps Air Station
Saeger plans on pursuing a career as an officer. To earn a
commission, an enlisted Marine must be a sergeant or above and a minimum of
three years in service among many other requirements. If the Marine meets the
criteria they must submit an application to one of the commissioning programs,
which Saeger plans to do.
“My end goal is to be a pilot or be an ordinance officer,”
Saeger embodies the competitive nature of the Marine Corps.
He not only works to better himself but also to better the lives of his