News: Marine awarded for peer leadership and proficiency
Story by 2nd Lt. Danielle Dixon
MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania – There are many leadership principles that define the Marine Corps. Two principles challenge Marines to be tactically and technically proficient while developing a sense of responsibility among peers. Lance Cpl. Nikita M. Dejoode, a Light Armored Vehicle crewman with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, embodies those leadership principles. Dejoode was awarded Marine of the Week, recognizing his outstanding leadership and proficiency, Oct. 11, 2013 at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania.
This award shows the command’s appreciation to Marines and Sailors with BSRF-14 for demonstrating superior professional development, leadership, and adherence to the values of honor courage and commitment.
Sergeant Steven M. Scheutzow, a squad leader with BSRF-14, nominated Dejoode for the award. Scheutzow has daily interaction with Dejoode and takes note of his professionalism and strong peer leadership.
“Ever since we got here, and since I’ve been with Light Armored Reconnaissance the last couple of months, he has always stood out amongst his peer group. From his physical training to appearance or working with machine guns, just about anything he does—he stands out against everybody else.” said Scheutzow.
Staff Sgt. Bobby H. Neal, a platoon sergeant with BSRF-14, agreed with Scheutzow’s nomination and furthered his recommendation for a final decision.
“He’s made progression since day one. He has shown vast improvement and he’s ready to be recognized for it,” Said Neal. “If we break the .50 (caliber machine guns) out and we need somebody that can just take a group of guys out and show them how to take it apart, put it back together, and do headspace and timing — he’s the guy that can do that ... He’s very knowledgeable.”
This obvious trend of success has shown the chain of command that Dejoode is performing at the level of a Non-Commissioned Officer. 1st Lt. James R. Moroney, a platoon commander with BSRF-14, echoes those sentiments.
“He is just one of the younger guys that is more outspoken, more vocal and more comfortable being in front of people than others with the same experience level. It sets him apart from the rest. Being that comfortable in front of people and being a small unit leader sets him up to be successful as an NCO,” said Moroney.
Dejoode says it feels good to be recognized for all of his hard work and dedication. It lets him know he is doing the right thing.
“I do my best and every day I try to excel more than my peers and I try to standout more and show that I am ready and I can take responsibilities,” said Dejoode. “[This award] means I have to keep pushing myself and keep striving to better myself.”
At the end of the day, Dejoode’s motivation, proficiency, and peer leadership is above the standard. His platoon commander, Moroney, explained it the best.
“We picked him because of all of my Marines; especially of all my junior Marines, his dedication to the job is outstanding,” said Moroney. “He’s always the first one to volunteer, he’s always doing multiple jobs and his attitude and motivation here is top notch.”