Junior Enlisted Association reformed, running

7 Oct 2013 | Cpl. Timothy Norris

Tri-Command Marines and Sailors have a new opportunity for off-duty activities and assistance in career advancement.

Earlier in the summer, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, Naval Hospital Beaufort, and the Air Station had individual associations, but with limited involvement. A group of senior Navy staff convened and decided to combine all three, making one Tri-Command Junior Enlisted Association and to open the association to junior Marines.

The Junior Enlisted Association is a Navy program designed to mentor Sailors and Marines, ranks E-1 through E-4 by encouraging involvement in the community and command, preparing them for rank advancement and helps provide them with a voice in their command.

“The more motivation the better,” said Hospital Corpsman 3rd class Jeremy Tessier, a Corpsman attached to Combat Logistics Company 23 and president of the Tri-Command JEA.

Tessier spear-headed the new initiative to include Marines by inviting the Marines of CLC-23 to join the association. Two took him up on his offer.

“I’ve always admired the camaraderie among Marines,” said Navy Lt. Kenya Hester, orthopedic clinic division officer at Naval Hospital Beaufort. “They would both be able to teach each other about their culture. It would be a transfer of abilities both ways and it would be nothing but positive.”

The association Barely had time to recruit members but already has more than 40, including the two Marines. Over the last two months members of the association have participated in committees for cultural heritage and highway clean-up projects.  

“I like helping,” Tessier said. “Helping someone succeed and give them what they need to progress, that is what drives me.”

Tessier said the JEA has larger projects in the works for the community, including building houses with Habitat for Humanity, coaching public and DODEA sports teams and working at local festivals.

“There are so many opportunities in the Lowcountry to give back and develop yourself,” he said.

Participating in the association does require application and admission, including a one-time fee of $80 or $10 month-to-month, and dedicating time outside of work on projects for community and command. Attendance at regular meetings on the first and last Monday of every month are also required. 

Tessier advised that applicants seriously consider the level of dedication required to maintain membership.

“I’ve heard different stories from different commands that some people try to join associations like the JEA as a way to get out of work. That is not what we are about.”

He described character traits of discipline, productivity, honesty, professionalism, and other qualities he and the other mentors of the association strive to develop in the members.

Hester said the association does require a lot of the members, but the benefits it gives them is worth it and prepares them for success and advancement.

“The JEA has been an outstanding program for our Sailors at the Hospital,” she said. “You should be a mentor and a protégé at the same time in order to be effective. It guarantees the individual is growing and they also take responsibility for their replacements by mentoring them as they move up in rank.”

For more information on the JEA, or to apply, contact HM3 Tessier, at 843-228-7669.