CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
From their exploits in places like Belleau Woods and Tarawa, the Marines of old and their heroic feats are embedded in our warrior culture and often used as examples for younger Marines. The manner in which they fought these battles serves as snapshots of courage and leadership, and in true cliché fashion, the past is being used to learn for the future.
Noncommissioned officers with 2nd Maintenance Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, came together to watch their predecessors on the big screen as they stormed the beaches of “The Pacific” during a period of military education at the Base Movie Theater aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., Feb. 9.
The 10-part television series depicts the 1st Marine Division’s push through the Pacific and some of the toughest battles in our nation’s history, such as Guadalcanal.
During the event, the battalion’s leadership prompted guided discussions among their sergeants and corporals to discuss how the past was both different and similar for today’s Marines. Among the topics were leadership, patience and the ways wars were fought back then in comparison with today’s engagements.
“When I watched this show for the first time I thought it was a great portrayal of Marine Corps NCOs,” said Capt. Ania Driscoll, company commander for Motor Transportation Maintenance Company, 2nd Maint. Bn. “I feel like we’ve gotten away from some of the things you see in this show.”
Taking a step back and watching what some Marines went through, compared with serving in today’s Corps, was the intent, continued Driscoll.
Those in attendance felt immense pride in wearing the same uniform as men like John Basilone, Eugene Sledge and Robert Leckie, whom were portrayed in the film.
“Who can’t learn from those men?” said Sgt. William A. Berger, a diesel mechanic with the battalion. “They never complained, they did what was asked of them and did it to the best of their abilities every time.”
Berger also shed light on how his Marines could learn from the show and gain a better appreciation for the Corps’ current conditions.
“I think Marines need to take a look at this and realize they don’t have it as bad as they think,” said Berger. “It can always get worse and those men that fought during that time didn’t have it easy.”
As a newly promoted corporal, Argustor Campbell, a Chicago native, mentioned how it would help junior Marines who are aspiring to be NCOs.
“Everyone who wants to be in a leadership role should watch this show,” said Campbell, a motor transportation mechanic with Maint. Bn. “Not because it’s about Marines, but because they are what NCOs should be, no matter the branch of service.”
Although it was only the first PME using the television program, leaders in the company have already made plans to make this a monthly gathering amongst NCOs in the unit. Driscoll said she wanted to get away from the standard briefing method of PowerPoint presentations, and give the Marines something to look forward to each month. The live action representations of Marine Corps ethos, coupled with guided discussion, seem like a perfect fit for the company’s young leaders.
“I hope they continue holding these PMEs,” said Campbell. “Everyone can always learn new things, especially when you get a bunch of NCOs together to watch a show like The Pacific. I would recommend a lot more people to come out. There’s a lot to learn when you are in a room of your peers.”