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Exceptional Marine awarded

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy | Marine Aircraft Group 31 | September 11, 2015

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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 Fightertown.

 

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 Miramar, Calif.

 

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,” said Saeger.

 

Saeger embodies the competitive nature of the Marine Corps. He not only works to better himself but also to better the lives of his Marines.


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