Tribute to a Mentor

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“A TRIBUTE TO A MENTOR”

SGT TRAVIS L. BUCK

SNCOA Sergeants Course
Ssgt Figueroa
201304229

Everyone has a person they consider to be their role model, whether it is a professional athlete, a famous musician, a historical figure, or just a person in their life that is close to them who has mentored them along the way. Marines are fortunate enough to, in some cases, have many mentors and role models. Individuals who have guided them as young men to become amazing leaders, and incredible marines. Individuals that those Marines will never forget and whom will always play an important role in the decision-making skills of those Marines. I, like many other marines, have had many mentors that have helped build the Marine I have become. But the one man that stands out above all others was my first squad leader, Sergeant (Sgt.) Mckay. He will always be my greatest mentor for many reasons but mostly because of his ability to always lead by example, to stay stern but fair, and to always put his Marines above himself.

Sgt. Mckay was an amazing leader and I believe a huge part of the reason why was because he always lead by example. He would never tell a Marine to do something he wasn’t willing to do himself and he especially wouldn’t tell them not to do something that he in turn would go do himself. He would walk around the barracks picking up trash by himself, and once he saw a marine on the catwalk he would yell up something along the lines of, “Well!! You’d better get your asses down here and help me clean this mess up!” I cant remember one time that he didn’t set the example for all of us to emulate.

I was recently told by one of my junior Marines after this last deploy that one of the biggest reasons why they look up to me is because I am able to be strict but always stay fair. When he told me this I immediately thought of Sgt. Mckay. I thought of how I used to feel the same way about him. I, like most other Marines, didn’t want a “soft” leader. But I...
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