CAMP HABBANIYAH, Iraq (October 24, 2008) --
“I am forever conscious of each Marine under my charge, and by example will inspire him to the highest standards possible. I will strive to be patient, understanding, just, and firm. I will commend the deserving and encourage the wayward.” These are the words at the foundation of each Marine non-commissioned officer (NCO).
Marines with Task Force 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1, and NCO’s from tenant Army units here memorized these words and more during a two-week Corporal’s Leadership Course Oct. 10 through 24.
Marines and soldiers were evaluated by Staff NCO instructors in every facet of NCO leadership. They also learned how to use the historic Marine Corps NCO Sword and how to drill a squad-sized formation.
The corporals received more than 70 hours of instruction focusing on everything from mentorship to urban warfare tactics, techniques and procedures.
“The course was well rounded,” said Cpl. James Thesing, a 22-year-old electro-optical ordinance repairman with Headquarters and Service Company, Task Force 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines. “It’s a course that teaches the foundation of leadership to new leaders.”
The class also completed two projects over the duration of the course. Half of the class spear headed a beautification project of a traffic circle on the Iraq Army section of Camp Habbaniyah, while the other half repainted the cannons and flag poles in front of the battalion’s headquarters building.
“Part of being a leader is putting others first,” Thesing said. “The projects were used as a teaching tool to show that there are more ways to lead than just in your job field.”
Gunnery Sgt. Alfred Penn, the course’s lead instructor and the battalion’s communications chief, stressed to the students how important it is that they continue their training even while deployed.
“The course showed that there is more to leadership than what you may read in a book,” Thesing explained. “You have to use other leaders around you to help lead the Marines beneath you.”
The battalion plans on holding more courses throughout the deployment to ensure its corporals have the tools they need to be well rounded leaders.