Empowering NCO Leadership
Noncommissioned officers (NCOs) are the backbone of the Marine Corps’ daily leadership and set the standard of success for the Marines in their charge. They understand the importance of professional education as well as the need to continually improve their leadership skills, and the NCOs of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., now have a unit library to assist them.
“I’m focusing on those NCO ranks because it’s part of the Commandant’s Reawakening and because they’re the first step in the chain of command in terms of leadership,” said Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Gettings, the commanding officer of the squadron. “I want to empower those NCOs to take charge and feel responsible for the Marines beneath them.”
LtCol Gettings plans to begin professional military education sessions on selected readings to work through the Marines’ personal challenges and to “develop critical thinking skills.” Cherry Point operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, Gettings said, so there are many Marines who can spend their nights while on duty with professional reading.
“Because we work long shifts, it is nice to have the library at our disposal for our downtime,” said Private First Class K. D. Perkins.
The base has four copies of each book on the Commandant’s Reading List from grades E-1 to E-5. The 72 books are worth more than $1,000 and serve 850 Marines. Gettings set up four identical libraries strategically placed around base so all Marines could easily check out the books. “Having access to the library gives me a sense of ease that when I want to better myself as a Marine, the opportunity is just across the street,” said Lance Corporal T. J. Hallinan.
MCA&F member Tera Singletary spearheaded the effort in her community to raise the money for the Cherry Point unit library. The Marine mom said professional reading is essential for Marines.
“Education is paramount in every profession, so why should the Marine Corps be any different? The more we do for them, the more they can concentrate on their mission,” she said.
Gettings said he is appreciative of friends of the Marine Corps like Singletary for supporting projects that wouldn’t exist without donations. He said the support from the community throughout the past 13 years of war has been incredible.
“It solidifies that bond between the civilian community and their military,” he said. “It shows that they care, and it helps me as a CO to build a young individual man or woman to something I would be proud to give back to society after they get out of the military. The donation is generous and helps us to go above and beyond.”
If you would like to learn more about MCA&F programs for Marines, or you’d like to support our programs with a tax-deductible donation, call toll-free: (877) 469-6223, or visit www.mcafdn.org.