CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan --
“Corporals! When I’m talking, you are not. Are we clear?”
The chatter among a group of young corporals ceased as Staff Sgt. Nicholas Underwood began demonstrating the proper execution of crunch exercises.
As the chief instructor for the 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward) Corporal’s Course aboard Camp Leatherneck, Underwood, along with a handful of sergeant instructors, led approximately 30 young non-commissioned officers through their initial physical fitness test, Oct. 18.
This lesson in leading Marines was just the first of many in the course that began Oct. 17 and will run through Nov. 9. As leaders themselves, these corporals will learn the traits of a successful NCO and how to properly apply them to developing subordinates and supporting their superiors.
These principles are crucial to mission accomplishment in any forum, even when forward deployed.
“Look at a [Marine Air-Ground Task Force]; look how it fights,” said 1st Sgt. Tabron Shorts, Corporal’s Course director. “They work as a team and that is what we are going to teach these NCOs,” he explained. “For most of them, this is the first opportunity they have had to learn and build together as peers.
“We are giving them attributes that will magnify their abilities on the battlefield.”
Over the course of the next few weeks, Shorts and his instructor staff will cover lessons in leadership basics, tactics and physical fitness, to name a few. Upon graduation, they will have the tools they need to manage and direct their Marines effectively.
“PME itself is extremely important, but especially when talking about young leaders,” said Shorts, as he explained the merits of professional military education in Afghanistan. “This is the basis of what they will learn through the ranks to sergeant major.”