MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines and sailors from various installations throughout II Marine Expeditionary Force visited Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune for a three-day equal opportunity workshop, August 7, 2013.
The workshop, designed for non-commissioned officers, focused on leadership training and was presented by the equal opportunity advisors for II MEF, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island and the Eastern Recruiting Region.
According to Master Sgt. Ferman McLaughlin, the equal opportunity advisor for II MEF, the workshop adds another layer to the equal opportunity program through dissemination of information to non-commissioned officers.
“When you talk about equal opportunity, you’re also talking about leadership,” said McLaughlin. “This training gives leaders a different way of thinking about situations and understanding how personal bias and beliefs affect junior Marines.”
Cpl. Jennifer Fisher, an aviation maintenance administrator for Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204, said she attended to continue developing as a leader.
“I truly do care about junior Marines,” Fisher said. “I want to be the best example I can and someone to look up to.”
Master Sgt. Delvon Survine, the equal opportunity advisor for MCRD Parris Island and ERR, explained that participants received training in communication skills and proper handling of discrimination issues including gender, sexual orientation or spiritual belief biases.
The interactive course included multiple group discussions and practical application scenarios ranging from discrimination to religious accommodation. Resolutions, techniques and procedures were also taught to prepare the participants to handle scenarios and situations discussed throughout the leadership course.
McLaughlin said all Marines are required to receive one hour of equal opportunity training annually. This course exceeds the standard and encourages leaders to focus on equal opportunity and its application concerning junior Marines.
“We are trying to make it a quarterly event,” McLaughlin added. “We also intend to offer a senior leadership course for staff non-commissioned officers, and a future leaders workshop for junior enlisted.”
The goal of the program was to improve the individual skill of small unit leaders, so equal opportunity issues can be resolved at the lowest level.