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Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan


Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan

MCAS Iwakuni is a mission-ready air station, capable of providing continuous base-operating support for tenant organizations and follow-on U.S. and allied forces during training, combat or contingency (HA/DR) operations throughout the Indo-Asia Pacific region.
New, soon to be staff NCOs get skinny on new role

By Lance Cpl. Claudio A. Martinez | | November 25, 2010

Approximately 40 newly promoted staff sergeants and staff sergeant selects attended the station’s 2010 Staff Noncommissioned Officer’s Indoctrination hosted in the Club Iwakuni Talbot’s Room here Nov. 17.

The course informed the newly promoted staff sergeants and staff sergeant selects what they will be confronted with as staff noncommissioned officers.

“They‘ve gone to the next step,” said Sgt. Maj. Karl Villalino, Marine Aircraft Group 12 sergeant major. “They are keepers of tradition and they are (now) the individuals that need to make sure their Marines keep in line.”

III Marine Expeditionary Force has offered the course for several years as a bridge for newly promoted staff NCOs before attending the Career Course at the Staff Noncommissioned Officers Academy.

Several station officers and senior-level staff NCOs attended the indoctrination offering advice and information to the newly promoted and select Marines.

“It’s an important transition from NCO to staff NCO,” said Villalino. “We want to let them know that by showing them and giving them the knowledge they need to be able to succeed and lead their Marines. We want to arm them with more tools than the ones they previously had.”

During the course, the Marines reviewed their new future duties, had guided discussions on fraternization, appraised their administrative responsibilities and learned new and different techniques used to lead Marines.

The newly promoted staff sergeants and staff sergeant selects also learned new ways to manage Marines in distress and in danger of committing suicide.

Sgt. Jacqueline Plumhoff, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 12 supply support division and supply accounting division staff noncommissioned officer, attended the daylong course. Plumhoff is slated to be promoted in January 2011.

“There was a lot of information (covered) that I did not know,” said Plumhoff. “I’m selected. I haven’t been promoted yet, so a lot of this is just really new information.”

The indoctrination course stressed the importance of being a good and effective mentor to junior Marines.

Plumhoff said she found the lessons extremely helpful.

“(The mentorship training) assisted me in guiding my Marines, teaching them and being a mentor to them,” said Plumhoff. “(The training is important) because being a staff NCO means being a leader and taking care of your Marines.”

The indoctrination course also gave the Marines a chance to network and build bonds with other Marines they do not normally work with.

“(The indoctrination) is a nice way to get eyes on all the guys around here that are selectees and promotees. It’s good for networking,” said staff sergeant select Sgt. John Reider, station information systems management office webmaster. “One of the most difficult things is to distance yourself from the group of Marines you just left and embrace the Marines you are now coming into. We can meet people and get contact information. We can intermingle, talk to each other and run ideas past each other.”

The Staff NCO’s Indoctrination course is mandatory by order of the III MEF but is not required by Headquarters Marine Corps.