MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania - Marine non-commissioned officers pride themselves on being dedicated to training new Marines, influencing the old, and, by example, inspiring fellow Marines to maintain the highest standards possible.
Corporal Eamon Donahue, a team leader with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, received Marine of the Week for his outstanding leadership, and ability to inspire his peers and junior Marines. Along with Marine of the Week, Donahue also celebrates graduation of Corporal’s Course, and claiming the title of ‘honor graduate’ after the rigorous three-week long course at Mihail Kogalniceanu, Romania, Feb. 14, 2014.
Gunnery Sgt. Timothy Austin, the operations chief with BSRF-14, said that fellow Marines chose Donahue as the honor graduate for his academic achievement, leadership, physical fitness, and embodying the Marine Corps core values of honor, courage and commitment.
“He’s intellectual, he has moral courage, he’s never afraid to stand up and tell his peers as a whole or individually that they’re wrong,” said Austin. “He led a lot of events throughout the course, including the organization of the mess night held at the end.”
“He graduated as honor graduate, which a lot of us assumed he would because he’s an older Marine,” said Sergeant Steven Scheutzow, a squad leader with BSRF-14. “He’s been through a lot and he’s a great mentor not only to junior Marines, but also some of the senior Marines who maybe haven’t lived a life outside of the Marine Corps.”
“It means a lot to just graduate from a course that embodies the whole Marine Corps concept,” said Donahue. “The things you learn throughout this course are all a good measuring stick for your understanding of how the Marine Corps works at your level.”
Even though he believes that corporals’ course is a good measuring stick, he understands that there is still a lot more that he can do to make him a great NCO.
“This course doesn’t make you a good leader,” said Donahue. “It’s the application of those things that you learn and how you figure out the balancing act that is being a leader. You have to push some people and pull others, you have to yell and pull some people aside. It feels good to graduate a course that emphasizes those things. I believe there is a rhyme and reason to the way we do things; the way we operate, and it separates us from the other services.”
Both Donahue and Scheutzow agree that it is this type of attitude towards leadership that helped him claim this week’s title.
“If you work hard, [your Marines] will see that and be inspired to do the same, because ultimately when you’re at the bottom, you need someone to be looking out for you. If you’re working hard for your leaders, they’re not going to let you [fail],” said Donahue.
“His junior Marines won’t strive to be like him due to seeing him receive Marine of the Week, they already do. I don’t think it will push them further, he’s been doing that for them since day one,” said Scheutzow.
Scheutzow and Austin explained that Marine of the Week was just another way of showing Donahue that he is a valuable addition to his unit, and a great mentor to his junior Marines.
“It shows appreciation for the hard work that he’s been doing for the entire time that we’ve been here, overall, throughout the whole deployment he could have been chosen for this award because he’s just that kind of Marine,” said Scheutzow. “He’s definitely trustworthy, has good initiative, and he’s always with his junior Marines teaching them something, whether it’s Marine Corps related or general life.”
“I think his peers as a whole saw that he took charge of many events throughout the course, and they can see that his hard work is reflected in receiving honor graduate and Marine of the Week,” said Austin.
Austin said that Donahue encompasses what it means to be a leader.
“He has a great ability to speak," said Austin. "He is very articulated in his speech, and he has a leadership ability that when he gets in front of Marines, they want to follow him."
With the first winter rotation of BSRF coming to an end and making way for Marines and sailors attached to 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, Donahue said that he is really looking forward to arriving back home.
“The interaction with my team, getting to sit down and work with them one-on-one every day, is the most rewarding experience I’ve had. However, I’d really like to see my mom and dad, my brother, and his wife and kids. That’s the biggest thing; I’m really excited about getting home,” said Donahue.
Marines and sailors with Black Sea Rotational Force 14 are preparing to shut the door on the first winter rotation of forces in the region that promote regional stability and security, maintain positive partnerships and interoperability with their partner nations, and are the crisis-contingency force in the Eastern European region. BSRF-14 Marines and sailors are patiently awaiting the welcome home from family and friends back in the states.