MCAS 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. When Marines prove themselves as capable leaders, they are rewarded for their efforts by being promoted, given awards or placed on boards for high-level recognition.
Sergeant Ryan Montgomery, an air traffic controller with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, recently received one of the highest forms of recognition for his outstanding leadership by being named the Marine Corps Installations East Noncommissioned Officer of the Year.
Montgomery’s journey began when he won the first quarter NCO of the quarter award for his unit.
“He started the process when he was a corporal,” said Master Sgt. David Gowans, the senior enlisted air traffic controller for the Air Station. “As a corporal he was a little bit ahead of the track, so that was something that got him noticed.”
Montgomery was meritoriously promoted to sergeant after winning a board in August.
After that, he competed against the other three quarterly winners to win the H&HS NCO of the Year award. Montgomery then traveled to Camp Lejeune to compete in the MCI-East board.
“I walked in and there was a Sgt. Maj. from each base who asked me two questions,” said Montgomery. “Then the Sgt. Maj. from MCI-East asked me three questions.
“I felt pretty confident when I walked out of there,” continued Montgomery. “I think I missed two questions.”
Montgomery walked out of the room as a winner. His return to the Station as the MCI-East NCO of the Year didn’t surprise anyone.
“I trust that I can give him anything and he will kill himself trying to get it done, even though it may be over his head,” said Gowans.