News: Combat instructor wins award for enthusiasm, hard work
Story by Pfc. Cameron Payne
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. - Throughout a Marines career, it is highly likely that he or she will come across someone who will influence them later on in their military career. Everyone credits the drill instructor for instilling discipline into a Marine, but equally as important and often overlooked is the combat instructor.
One such instructor received an award for his exemplary performance.
This Marine commanded the classroom with his occasional jokes about how he got his wavy black hair with “juices and berries” and his charismatic teaching style incorporating the “Spirit Bomb” from the popular animated show Dragon Ball Z.
Staff Sgt. Shawn Bowman received the Combat Instructor of the Year award for School of Infantry East aboard Camp Geiger as well as runner-up for Combat Instructor of the Year for the entire Marine Corps.
“I guess the reason for my attitude towards training Marines would date back to the ‘combat mindset’ my drill instructors instilled into me at boot camp,” said Bowman. “I enlisted in 2001 right after the 9/11 attacks and the mindset in boot camp had shifted to a heightened sense of combat readiness.”
“He’s got drive,” said Gunnery Sgt. Scott Ginger, School of Infantry East, Company I company gunnery sergeant. “It’s not very often you run into someone with the fire and ambition that he has, and that’s what makes him successful.”
Bowman also contributes his success as a combat instructor to his leadership.
“I’ve had a lot of people throughout my Marine Corps career who have placed their trust in my ability to get the job done,” said Bowman. “That’s one of the most important things a Marine can have when trying to achieve their goals. A strong leadership staff in my experience was an invaluable tool and set me up for future successes.”
During Bowman’s career on Camp Geiger beginning in 2010, his gung-ho attitude, and his enthusiasm for the training of the Marines, fueled his ambition as well as led to his appointment as platoon commander in only seven months.
After 14 months in the company, which is two months longer than the average year spent as a company instructor, Bowman transitioned from a hands-on instructor, to a primary instructor, teaching weapons systems at the Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer.
Today, Bowman continues to train Marines with India Company as the chief combat instructor.
“Now I am able to pass down all of the knowledge that I’ve gathered to the company instructors,” said Bowman.
Lastly, Bowman gave words of encouragement to those Marines looking to step outside their military occupational specialty into the job of combat instructor.
“I was once told that adversity makes or breaks you,” said Bowman “It’s up to you whether or not you can rise to the challenge.”