Over the past years, the Marine Corps has gradually passed the leadership torch from Staff Non-commissioned officers down to the junior enlisted to increase the proficiency within small units. Though Staff non-commissioned officers are often seen as the supervisor of training and that they focus on the bigger picture. Staff non-commissioned officers were once non-commissioned officers, and both of their responsibilities of teaching, training, and leading Marines should be a general and consistent idea throughout every command.
From the minute we are pinned on and promoted to a non-commissioned officer, our whole world changes. We may tell ourselves that it’s just another stripe or just another rocker, but we know deep down that it is a great accomplishment. It is our responsibility to create an environment for our Marines to be successful, which will require us as leaders to provide the Marines with everything we have in our arsenals. From the abundance of knowledge and the many resources that we pass to them, they will strive to grow and advance.
As non-commissioned officers, we need to dedicate time and effort to our Marines to mold them into successful leaders. Just like any new job or any new task, we need to be taught how to do it and we need to practice it to become experts. Knowledge itself doesn’t cut it, we need to train our skills to perfect our mistakes. Whether it deals with filling a recall roster or setting up support by fires to destroy the enemy, we need to hone in on our deficiencies and correct them. Practice makes perfect because whether we want to believe it or not, everyone makes mistakes and we need to ensure to minimize as much as possible so we can be ready for the unexpected.
As we grow and rise up the ranks in the military, we need to incorporate the leadership traits and leadership principles in our day to day operations. Because the high rank, the higher the expectations and responsibilities are, and to ensure our Marines uphold and exceed the standard we need to set our best example. If the units’ morale is high, they are well disciplined, and the esprit de corps is high you will see more comradery within the unit and each individual will strive to grow.
Every rank from junior enlisted to senior enlisted experiences leadership differently, and effective leadership requires every rank to remember that we need to teach, train, and lead our Marines. Allowing them to have more responsibility creates a stronger desire to be successful and take on harder tasks.