News: Committed and Engaged Corporals learn the ropes
Story by Cpl. Michelle Piehl
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Corporals of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., reached new heights during the Corporals Committed and Engaged Leadership Indoctrination course aboard MCAS Miramar, Jan. 7-9.
The corporals indoctrination course added a new element to the three-day schedule by incorporating the recently constructed obstacle course.
“The [obstacle] course works for motivation,” said Gunnery Sgt. Jorge L. Valdez, an instructor for the corporals indoctrination course and the inbound staff noncommissioned officer for Installation Personnel Administrative Center. “It gives the corporals something else to talk about when they return to their shops.”
With special ties to the Committed and Engaged Leadership initiative, the obstacle course, which opened Jan. 6, stands as a reminder of the power of the committed and engaged noncommissioned officer.
Sgt. Mark Sanchez, a tactical data systems administrator with Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron (MTACS) 38, originally noted the air station’s lack of an obstacle course. When 3rd MAW Commanding General Maj. Gen. Steven Busby came to the squadron, fellow NCO Sgt. Mark Willoughby, an air intercept controller with MTACS-38, raised the question to the general.
“At that point, the CG took action.” said Sanchez.
The obstacle course took more than two months to build, but is now available for Marines and Sailors to use for years to come.
“It’s a big deal because of Sanchez and Willoughby, standing up and taking care of each other and saying ‘hey, taking care of fellow Marines, we need this. Do this for us,’” said Busby.
The Corporals Committed and Engaged Leadership Indoctrination course presents new noncommissioned officers with an opportunity to get back to basics by going to the field for three days.
“If the Marine Corps continues with this, there will be big changes for NCOs,” said Valdez. “This allows newly promoted corporals to receive the necessary tools to work with as NCOs.”
The course reinforces lessons learned from their first days stepping on the yellow footprints at recruit training, to gaining new knowledge needed for their journey as a new NCO. Several mentors are assigned to guide the corporals through discussions using their wisdom, as well as engaging the NCOs in scenarios requiring critical thinking.
“The people we need to fix the [problems] are noncommissioned officers,” said Busby. “Therefore, we need to invest in [them]. So, we asked ourselves ‘what are we doing to prepare them?’ That is where the first Staff Sergeants Symposium came from and now, the corporals indoctrination.”
The course, part of the Committed and Engaged Leadership initiative, was originated by Busby and serves as a precursor to the three-week Corporals Course.