News: ‘Combat Bowling’: 3rd MAW commanding general unveils leadership initiative
Story by Cpl. Lisa Tourtelot
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - When Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, challenged his Marines to come up with a game of “combat bowling,” few hit the pin, so to speak.
Busby officially unveiled his “combat bowling” - the committed and engaged leadership initiative - at briefs aboard Marine Corps Air Stations Miramar and Camp Pendleton, Calif., June 3. “Combat bowling” is Busby’s term for nontraditional leadership roles to encourage more Marines to think outside the box.
The committed and engaged leadership initiative is a plan to empower noncommissioned officers throughout the aircraft wing with an increased leadership role, as well as to solidify the leadership foundation throughout 3rd MAW.
Busby explained that “combat bowling” is an effort to encourage Marines at all levels to come up with new, creative ways to lead.
“The power comes from the ideas of the people within our organization,” explained Busby. “The junior Marines are the idea factories.”
“We are men and women of action,” said Sgt. Maj. Anthony Spadaro, the 3rd MAW sergeant major. “Not just on the 14th of September, but every single day.”
Spadaro referred with pride to the Marines who put down last year’s attack on Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, and explained that same initiative and courage can be applied to stateside life, as well.
Rethinking traditional leadership roles and giving more responsibility to noncommissioned officers will help the aircraft wing tackle issues like sexual assault, alcohol-related incidents and suicide.
“These are the thing we can help fix,” Spadaro said.
The committed and engaged leadership training itself targets four subjects: the leadership foundation, the expectations of each leadership tier, leadership themes and specific actions to reach engagement goals.
“I think that a lot of these things have been said for a long time,” said Cpl. Cherish Hillman, an administrative specialist with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 169 and Clarksville, Tenn., native. “It encourages me to continue fighting the good fight. Every day is a battle and it’s very frustrating. It makes me feel like I’m doing the right thing.”
Marines like Hillman and Staff Sgt. Eric Summers, an explosive ordnance disposal technician with Marine Wing Support Squadron 372 and Poplar Bluff, Mo., native, both explained that they intend to take the day’s leadership lessons back to their own Marines.
“It’s time to sit down, assess and have a group discussion on how to implement this,” said Summers. He explained that because his shop is mostly fellow staff noncommissioned officers and sergeants, their job will be to apply the lessons to meet their own needs as a shop and set the example for the other Marines in their squadron.
“It’s a good starting place to get everybody back on the same page, moving toward a common goal,” said Summers.
Over the next several weeks, Busby and Spadaro will travel to 3rd MAW units across southern California and Arizona to ensure that all 18,000 aircraft wing Marines receive the committed and engaged leadership training. Additionally, company-grade officers and staff sergeants will attend leadership symposiums and 3rd MAW will soon mandate two-day training events for Marines upon their promotion to corporal or sergeant.
As the briefs continue throughout the month, Marines like Summers and Hillman will have to come up with their own unique “combat bowling” approaches to engaged leadership.