by Airman Sean M. Crowe
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs
4/1/2013 - JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. -- Joint
base service members from the Marine Corps, Air Force and Navy are
attending Corporal's Course, previously exclusive to Marines, March 11
through 29, 2013, here.
The current iteration of Corporal's Course here is the first to open its
doors to sister services. It is a three-week course in which E-4 grade
service members learn to become NCOs through professional military
"The purpose of opening the course to other services is to utilize local
assets to train service members," said Gunnery Sgt. Brad Gravat, Marine
Aircraft Group 49 staff NCO in charge. "We can save resources while
building on the students' professional military education and continuing
to foster joint relations here."
Instructors such as Gravat, a Fairhope, Ala., native, provide the 33
service members a plethora of responsibilities and skills required to
perform NCO duties. Service members learn a variety of subjects
including combat leadership, military professionalism, supervision,
mentoring and public speaking. Instructors will test the students'
knowledge at the end of the course with a test that covers all topics
discussed throughout the course.
"Several Airmen throughout the bases tenant units submitted packages to
their squadrons," said Senior Airman Thomas Waters, 87th Civil Engineer
Squadron journeyman firefighter. "The 87th Mission Support Group
selected me and one other Airman for the course, which will give me the
opportunity to develop as a leader."
The Air Force doesn't require Waters, a Salem, N.Y. native, to take PME
until reaching the Air Force's first NCO rank, staff sergeant. Marines,
however, must take either the Corporal's Course or an online equivalent
upon becoming a corporal.
"I volunteered for this course when my squadron asked who wanted to
attend," said Cpl. David Cordero, Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 772
avionics technician originally from Anaheim, Calif. "It's a great
opportunity to learn how to lead. We get to learn Air Force
Instructions, making this course beneficial for all the services
Service members belonging to other branches learn Marine Corps methods, standards and traditions as part of the course.
"I think this course will encourage me to hold myself to a higher
standard," said Petty Officer 3rd Class Gregory Garcia, Fleet Readiness
Center East 400th Division machinist's mate from Albuquerque, N.M.
"Sailors must take a course upon becoming a petty officer 3rd class, but
the course is not as strenuous and in-depth. I'd like to take what I've
learned here and use it to hold my unit accountable."
The E-4 grade service members are slated to graduate Corporal's Course
March 29 with a formal ceremony in which the only honor graduate will be
awarded the NCO sword. The other graduates are authorized to procure
their own sword once they rate as NCOs.