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    Marine SNCOs, Navy Chiefs strengthen bond during annual Chief Season

    U.S. Marine completes Navy CPO Initiation

    Photo By Sgt. Dylan Chagnon | U.S. Marine Master Sgt. Dorian Gardner, staff non commissioned officer-in-charge,...... read more read more

    UNITED STATES

    01.31.2021

    Story by Sgt. Dylan Chagnon 

    Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

    CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- For most Marines, the professional military education associated with their respective rank is where they learn the most about what is expected of them at that position.

    For a certain U.S. Marine Master Sergeant, however, professional military education meant something more as he chose to explore an additional opportunity from a similar peer group within another branch of service.

    Master Sgt. Dorian Gardner, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge, Communication Strategy and Operations, Marine Corps Installations West, chose to participate in this year’s Naval Chief Petty Officer Initiation.

    The process is conducted every year after sailors from across the Navy are selected for the rank of chief petty officer. While it is mainly a Naval-oriented professional military education, it is open to the Marine Corps and other branches of service.

    “What I hoped to gain from this experience is a network, and to learn from these [chief petty officers],” said Gardner. “Their experience and their insight going into certain situations that we, as Staff NCO’s, deal with quite often… I started the season hoping to get some of that mentorship and training to improve myself as a leader.”

    On top of the learning experience, Gardner also had a more personal reason as to why he would subject himself to a course designed for another service.

    “My exposure to the Chief’s Season came from my wife,” said Gardner. “A big reason why I did this was so that my wife and I can share something that we did together through our military careers. Her being [a sailor] and me being a Marine, it’s hard to find something that we can experience together as one.”

    Gardner’s wife, Lilia, a corpsman and chief petty officer in the Navy, went through the last years’ initiation. She, therefore, knew what he would be going through and knew exactly how to better support her husband.

    “He definitely had the hard part when it comes to support. Because, when I went through it, we both had no idea what to expect,” Lilia said. “It was easier for me to be supportive for him because I already knew what it was going to entail.”

    Gardner stated that he wanted to strengthen his bond with his wife by having something they could both share between two service members in different branches. After all was said and done, he would assert that he accomplished that goal.

    “[Gardner] being able to appreciate what the [Chiefs Season] is, and how we’re able to work together to accomplish the mission, made me proud,” said Lilia. “Him going through it just strengthened our bond more due to the personal family touch along with the professional accomplishment. It’s another piece of something that we can share together.”

    Another factor for Gardner pursuing the title of Honorary Chief was to be introduced to and accepted by another peer group.

    Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. David H. Berger has emphasized further integration and strengthening of the Navy-Marine bond. Many of the Staff NCO’s that participated chose to do so with this in mind – a more unified and integrated amphibious force.

    “There are a lot of differences between a Marine Staff NCO and a Navy Chief Petty Officer when it comes to how we’re taught leadership and how to attack things,” said Gunnery Sgt. Luis Moret, communications chief, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit. “I’m getting ready to deploy with the 11th MEU, so knowing how Navy Chiefs operate is going to help us better navigate through those Navy vessels. Additionally, it’s going to allow us to talk their language to better accomplish the mission.”

    After being awarded his anchors and the title of honorary chief, Gardner, along with the rest of the Marines who participated, showcased an initiative to strengthen the bond between his Naval counterparts, while at the same time strengthening with the bond with his wife.

    “Being accepted was a bigger moment for me,” Gardner stated. “What the anchors symbolize, and being recognized as a brother, was the most meaningful. Having accomplished that made me very proud, and I’m happy to wear these anchors as my wife does.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 01.31.2021
    Date Posted: 02.01.2021 09:15
    Story ID: 388053
    Location: US

    Web Views: 476
    Downloads: 0

    PUBLIC DOMAIN