Seminar brings together senior enlisted Marines on Okinawa

by Lance Cpl. Stephen D. Himes, III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office
U.S. Marine Corps

CAMP HANSEN, OKINAWA, Japan -- Master sergeants and first sergeants assigned to various units within III Marine Expeditionary Force attended an E-8 seminar March 31 to April 4 at The Palms on Camp Hansen.

Staff members with the Staff Noncommissioned Officer Academy Okinawa hosted the seminar to provide a forum for discussion of current leadership challenges faced by Marines.

“The E-8 seminar’s primary focus is ensuring that the senior SNCOs have the knowledge required to advise their commanders and lead their Marines,” said Sgt. Maj. Anthony Cruz, the director of the academy. “More importantly, it facilitates us, as leaders, to see the (areas) we must focus on to carry the Corps forward, while also providing the leadership with tools and techniques to ensure our commands are meeting the commandant's intent."

This seminar covered a range of topics, including the “Reawakening,” leadership expectations, staff functions and current events, according to Master Gunnery Sgt. Patrick Ward, the deputy director of the academy. The seminar also addressed SNCO involvement in ensuring the welfare and training of Marines across the Corps.

During the seminar, leadership panels and subject matter experts helped guide discussions about topics current leaders are working to resolve, according to Ward.

“The leadership panels, coupled with the knowledge of various subject matter experts, served as an avenue (of discussion for) the Marine leaders to seize the initiative in abolishing the Corps' most intrusive issues,” said Ward.

Additional conversations during breaks and social events empowered leaders and validated the issues as real, daily occurrences throughout the Marine Corps, according to 1st Sgt. Marcus Reese, a participant in the seminar and the first sergeant of Company B, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D. Butler, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.

It is the duty and responsibility of the academy to better educate these senior enlisted advisors on current and future challenges facing the Marine Corps, according to Cruz.

“Many of these Marines have real-life, personal experiences on most of these subjects,” said Cruz. “We want the participants to use the week to grow, network and learn from each other’s experiences, and to help themselves think critically in a manner that will support not only their Marines, but also the Corps itself.”

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