By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Desiree D. Green, USS Whidbey Island Public Affairs
USS WHIDBEY ISLAND, At Sea (NNS) -- Marines from 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (22nd MEU), embarked on amphibious dock landing ship USS Whidbey Island (LSD 41), invited E-4 Sailors to participate in their Corporals Leadership Training Course that began April 18.
The two-week training course is a mandatory requirement for all Marine corporals and is designed to develop their professional growth and foster small-unit leadership. MEUs often invite Sailors they're embarked with to give them a new perspective on leadership which in turn strengthens the blue-green team.
"I think it's important that the junior non-commissioned officers (NCO) know what's expected of us," said Cpl. Spencer Soffel. "I think it's great that the Sailors are joining us for this training. I think it's a good opportunity for them to see how we do things so that they have a better understanding of the Marine Corps because we deploy together quite a bit."
Topics covered during the Corporals Course include Marine Corps history, customs, and courtesies, professional publications, and military justice. The course focuses on the development of strong leadership traits.
"It's very different from the Navy's petty officer indoctrination training," said Yeoman 3rd Class Nicolaus Garza. "It's neat to learn about how they do things. Even though the training for blue and green is very different it all is geared towards the same thing, and that is teaching you how to be a better leader."
Many enlisted personnel assigned to the MEU feel the successful integration of Sailors into the Corporals Course shows promise for more integrated training in the future.
"I think this is going great," said Staff Sgt. Derek Evans, who serves as one of the instructors. "It helps the blue side gain knowledge and understanding of our history and job and vice versa. It also makes these new non-commissioned officers well-rounded and better equipped to handle the leadership and positional responsibility that they now have."