Since the Marine Corps’ beginnings, non-commissioned officers (NCOs) have played an important role in the many successes in the Corps and in the United States. Obviously, the modern NCO today might be a bit different than when the Marine Corps was first established on November 10, 1775, but they uphold and are the complete embodiment of the Corp’s history and traditions in values of honor, courage, and the commitment to the NCO creed. Honor guides the Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior, and to respect others as well as themselves.
In the Marine Corps, practically every custom, both written and unwritten, has stemmed from the conduct of past Marines. It is only appropriate that our Marines today recognize this and dutifully portray this in their everyday as well as in combat. On every battlefield that our country has been on since the founding of the Corps, Marines have been there to defeat all enemies, both foreign and domestic. Within these battlefields, there have been NCOs that have fought, led, and died in combat—to complete their mission and to protect their fellow Marines fighting alongside them.
An NCO must always keep in mind mission accomplishment and the welfare of their men and woman. This needs to be displayed in the workplace as well. It is the responsibility of NCOs to make sure that their junior marines know what it is to honorably be “a Marine”. This means that their conduct as a Marine is to be carried on to an NCOs civilian side as well. Having courage doesn’t mean that you can’t be scared; it means you push forward in the midst of fear. Along with carrying the honor of being a Marine, modern NCOs carry the courage one needs to be successful in both combat and as a civilian.
There have been many in the corps who have displayed courageous acts. It is the duty of an NCO, as well as all Marines, to have the courage, that inner strength to do what it right and adhere to a higher standard of conduct, and to make tough decisions under hard stress and pressure. It is said in the first line of the NCO creed that an NCO is “dedicated to training new Marines and influencing the old. ” Dedicated. Dedication is what makes the Corps so unique. The modern Marine NCO is supposed to be dedicated. Dedicated to the work that he or she does on a daily basis.
Dedicated to the life he leads for his or her junior marines. Dedicated to themselves, having personal integrity in all that they do. To close, The most outstanding custom in the Marine Corps is simply “being a Marine” and all that it implies. Call it morale, call it what you will—it is that pride which sets a United States Marine apart from the men of other armed services. It is not taught in manuals, yet it is the most impressive lesson a recruit learns in boot camp. It is not tangible, yet it has won fights against material odds. Senator Paul H.
Douglas said it best: “Those of us who have had the privilege of serving in the Marine Corps value our experience as among the most precious of our lives. The fellowship of shared hardships and dangers in a worthy cause creates a close bond of comradeship. It is the basic reason for the cohesiveness of Marines and for the pride we have in our corps and our loyalty to each other. ” An NCO is proud of his Corps and believes it to be second to none. He is carries the honor of the Corp’s heritage, courageous, and loyal to his comrades and to the Marine Corps, adhering always to the motto Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful).
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