Change keeps Marines sharp

15 Jul 2013 | Cpl. Rubin J. Tan

The Marine Corps is the smallest military branch in the United States, while also being known as the nation’s most mobile and combat ready force with presence around the world.

To be successful in the Marine Corps, service members must be well-rounded in the areas of their occupational skills, physical fitness, knowledge and leadership skills.

This year, more than two thirds of the squadrons aboard Fightertown received either a new commanding officer, executive officer or sergeant major, as part of normal rotations for the squadrons.

"Introducing new leadership into a squadron allows insight from a different perspective to be brought to the table," said Sgt. Maj. Leveta Smith, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron sergeant major.

Depending on the unit, commanding officers, executive officers and squadron sergeants major rotate every 18 months to 36 months after being assigned to their post.

Similar to officers, enlisted Marines are given the opportunity to rotate through various duty stations, participate in special duty assignments, attend Professional Military Education schools and more during their time in the Marine Corps.

"The reason why we have different Professional Military Education schools is to give you the tools designed to work within your rank and to teach Marines leadership styles that can be used to create a better work environment," said Master Sgt. Henry Gonzalez, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron station training chief.

Marines must complete various PME requirements before becoming eligible for promotion. Once eligible, Marines compete with others in their military occupational specialty for promotion.

"As you progress into your career and experience different duty stations, you gain a better insight and appreciation for what people do throughout the Marine Corps," said Smith, a native of Louisburg, N.C. "Through this insight, it makes you able to understand what is happening within the Marine Corps while developing the diversity needed to be a Marine."