Leadership Ideas, Information and News

Monday, April 01, 2013

Corporal's Course receives sister service members

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 education.

"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 involved."

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.

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