MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLTON, Calif. --
Many believe leaders are not born, they are made, but Marines who served with Sgt. Wesley Adams said he is a natural when it comes to leadership.
Adams, a vehicle commander with Delta Company, 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, joined the Marine Corps when he graduated high school because of pride in his country and his willingness to sacrifice everything for his loved ones.
“When the twin towers got hit I wasn’t old enough to go,” said Adams, a native of Atlanta. “I still had a year of high school. I joined because I just wanted to fight for my country.”
Adams, who deployed to Iraq twice, has held a leadership position for nearly his entire eight years in the Marine Corps. As a lance corporal, he earned the billet of fire team leader and moved up to section leader. He became a vehicle commander 10 months ago and plans on making a career out of the Marine Corps. His duties consist of calling out fire missions for the mortar section, keeping track of all personnel, serialized gear, food and water. Maintaining the vehicle is also an important part of the job.
“A lot of time and effort goes into these vehicles,” Adams said. “They are not easy to maintain. There’s a lot of work that goes into them to keep them running well, making sure they are cleaned, and all the insides and outs are working properly. It’s a lot of work.”
As a vehicle commander, communication with his Marines and the other vehicles during a mission is important. They need to coordinate their movements to complete the mission. If they can’t talk to one another, they are not going to know the next step.
Communication is also important between Adams and his Marines on a daily basis. As a sergeant, it is his responsibility to look after their welfare. He always helps out when he can and is a natural when it comes to mentoring and guiding his Marines, said Lance Cpl. Ryan Tallman, an LAV crewman with Delta Co.
“I look up to him as one of the best leaders we have in Delta Company,” Tallman said. “He doesn’t just do his job and go home, he helps other Marines with their job when they’re having a hard time. Anything that we need as junior Marines, he does his best to help us out as much as possible.”
Adams an approachable style of leadership to let Marines know they can come to him for anything. If he doesn’t have the answers they are looking for, he will find it. He enjoys being around his Marines, listening to their hometown experiences, what they would do if they won the lottery and the funny stories they have to tell, he said.
“I just like to sit back and listen,” said Adams. “I think being a more approachable leader, Marines feel they can come up to me and talk about anything and I feel appreciated for that. I think ruling with an iron fist doesn’t get too many Marines anywhere. I try to be as understanding as possible.”
Adams will continue to lead his Marines when they deploy with a Marine expeditionary unit next summer. He is confident they are prepared to deploy anywhere in world at any-time.