Refocusing the Corps for an uncertain world

30 Jan 2014 | Lance Cpl. Brendan Roethel

"In the last 12 years, you have defeated every enemy on the battlefield, and now Sergeant Major and I need your help to reawaken the soul of our Corps against an enemy within our ranks," said General James Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, in his reawakening letter to the Marine Corps.

During the past 12 years, the Corps focused its might on defeating terrorist organizations during the "Global War on Terrorism". With Marine efforts ranging from combat and security operations to humanitarian missions around the globe, the threat of violence has been greatly reduced, hundreds of schools have been constructed and millions of people received aid, whether in war-torn areas or countries ravished by natural disasters.

"Throughout the years, Marines have endured and strived through some of the harshest environments in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Sgt. Brian Tull, an avionics technician for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 31.

Tull was awarded the NCO of the quarter for MALS-31, and is the base vice president for the Single Marine Program.

Marines prevail in harsh environments, but when it comes to being just as strong at home there have been shortcomings. During the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan the number of Marine deaths in garrison exceeded those over-seas, said Amos during a National Press Club interview.

"Marines, especially NCOs, can fight these numbers by looking out for the Marine to their left and right," Tull said. "Like an NCO would make sure their Marines are prepared before going on a patrol in combat, we need to step up and make sure our Marines are doing well, staying away from risky behavior and coming to us if they need help. In conjunction with this, corporals and sergeants should be excelling and setting the example for their junior Marines."

As Marines take care of one another during combat, they strive to give a helping hand to those all over the world. Whether responding to tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes or nuclear disasters, Marines answer the call ready and willing to help those in need.

"When we go overseas and people see our uniform they know who we are and what we stand for," Tull said. "The Marine Corps has built national allies and relations with countries through the Corps’ humanitarian efforts. In the U.S., we can build upon our reputation by reassuring our Marines stay out of trouble and continue to be good Marines on and off base."

By getting Marines involved in activities outside of their normal routines, such as volunteering, they can experience new things, build relationships with those in the surrounding community, build upon the nation’s image of the Marine Corps and develop positive growth.

"Marines hold a reputation that is known across the world," said Sgt. Maj. Jeffrey Monssen, the sergeant major for Marine Aircraft Group 31 aboard the Air Station. "We win wars and develop strong and determined leaders. By setting the example and instilling a desire to enforce proper behavior and standards, a leader can set up his Marines and the Marine Corps for continued success."

NCOs must become Marines that others emulate. Nobody is perfect, but by working hard and constantly fine tuning their leadership skills, NCOs can demonstrate what it means to be an excellent Marine and leader. By doing this and instilling good judgment and leadership traits into their junior Marines, NCOs prepare the Marine Corps for a full range of future missions in an uncertain world.