Role of the Marine Non Commissioned Officer
After the Vietnam War ended, the Marine Corps’ main focus changed from broad scale operations, to being an Expeditionary Force in Readiness. Although this was no new role for the United States Marine Corps (USMC), there have been many changes in society, technology and tactics that affect how the Corps operates. However, over the last 36 years one thing has remained the same, and that is the role of the Marine Non Commissioned Officer (NCO). With the world changing ever so rapidly, the strong values and responsibilities of the Marine NCO are now, more than ever, necessary to carry out the operations being assigned to United States Marines. The role of the NCO is characterized by their leadership skills, ability to train and care for their subordinates, as well as their responsibility to enforce Marine Corps standards to ensure the proficiency of the Marines in their unit.1 Strong NCO leadership is extremely crucial on the battlefield, particularly when it comes to small unit combat operations. The Marine NCO must have courage to be able to lead their Marines in the presence of danger. An excellent example of the courage shown by an NCO is portrayed through the actions of Sgt Dakota L. Meyer. On September 8th 2009 (Corporal at the time), Meyer’s unit was ambushed by over 50 Taliban insurgents. This turned into a six-hour fire-fight, in which he risked his life for his fellow service members. Meyer repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire to rescue the wounded, and bring 13 U.S. Marines and Soldiers, as well as 23 Afghan National Army Soldiers to safety. Along with these actions he also killed over eight enemy combatants.2 For his actions, Sgt Meyer has been nominated for the Medal of Honor and is scheduled to receive it sometime in September 2011. Sgt Meyer’s outstanding leadership has proven how important the values of courage and selflessness are in the Marine Non Commissioned Officer. Another important...
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