3rd Medical Battalion prepares Marine Corps’ future leaders
CAMP FOSTER — Twenty-five lance corporals and privates first class completed 3rd Medical Battalion’s Lance Corporals’ Symposium Oct. 30 at the Chapel Center on Camp Foster.
The three-day symposium, developed by staff noncommissioned officers within 3rd Med. Bn., 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force, helped junior Marines develop their leadership styles in preparation for the next rank as well as introducing them to the NCO mindset.
“Every single Marine has the ability to become an outstanding leader,” said Staff Sgt. Duane C. Pineda, a water support technician with 3rd Med. Bn., who was the lead instructor for the symposium. “They just need a push. As leaders, we need to be the ones to enforce the standards and make sure that everyone upholds those standards.”
The course was designed to mentor junior Marines and dispel misconceptions about the Marine Corps in preparation for when they become NCOs, according to Pineda.
“We held guided discussions and scenarios about what they would do if they were forced to act as NCOs,” said Pineda. “In the beginning, they didn’t really know what to do. After a few trials, they started to get into it.”
The symposium focused on financial management, proficiency and conduct scores, mentorship, the leadership traits and principles, and combat leadership.
“It was like a wake-up call,” said Lance Cpl. Jasmine O. Davis, a motor vehicle operator with 3rd Med. Bn. “They showed lance corporals that they don’t need to be corporals and sergeants to be leaders. It teaches them that they could be doing more now.”
The instructors reminded the students that as Marines they are always leaders and should conduct themselves as such.
“It was definitely a motivational symposium,” said Lance Cpl. Bradley J. Newman, an embarkation specialist with 3rd Med. Bn. “The staff sergeants reignited our fires and did a fantastic job explaining things thoroughly. Their passion for the Marine Corps is where their hearts are.”
The instructors hoped to teach the Marines habits they should sustain during their career, lessons they should pass on, and skills they will need to maintain proficiency in.
Holding Marines accountable while still treating them with respect is a key aspect of good leadership, according to Davis.
“The Marine Corps isn’t a joke, not something you play with,” said Davis. “It will make you grow up. You need to be responsible. Just because you’re a lance corporal doesn’t mean you don’t have responsibilities to Marines.”
At their informal graduation ceremony, each student explained what they learned and would take away from the course as they moved on through their careers and navigated upcoming changes in the Marine Corps.
“Adapt and overcome; that’s what makes good leaders,” said Newman. “We’re the new Marine Corps; we are the future.”