As Cree stood at perfect attention, at the beginning of the competition, he contemplated the Marines standing behind him. Most of them had no idea who he was, and that felt oddly comforting. At the Marine Corps Communications-Electronics School, promotion formations consisted of hundreds of Marines.
As Master Sergeant Taber read the blanket warrant, he quickly rattled off the list of Marines receiving a promotion to Lance Corporal. Behind the Master Sergeant, a row of Staff stood, ready to hurriedly pin the new chevrons on the waiting Marines. Cree chanced a glance at his instructor, Staff Sergeant Matthew Georgia.
As Master Sergeant Taber finished the last word, Staff Sergeant Georgia stepped towards Cree, who rigidly offered his hand with the new chevrons in it. Without any warning, the Captain officiating over the formation gently placed her hand on the Staff Sergeant’s shoulder.
“This one’s mine.”
Staff Sergeant Georgia respectfully stepped back and to the side, pinning the next Marine down the line.
As soon as the Captain finished finished pressing the chevrons into Cree’s collar, she immediately stepped off, and gave control of the formation back to the Master Sergeant. Cree knew that seemed wrong. Usually, the officer in charge waited until the last Marine and dismissed the formation.
“When you receive the command, congratulate the newly promoted Marines… FALL OUT!”
Cree immediately turned towards his Staff Non-Commissioned Officer and thanked him for trying.
“Congratulations Lance Corporal Dalene!”
When things don’t go right, step left. SSgt Georgia demonstrated the utmost professionalism. I’ve never forgotten that.
Things Done Right
- Stood Still and watched it happen
Things to Work On
- I think I handled this well… ?
Count Your Blessings
- Having the example of a good leader.
On a small note, I wrote out the full terms for everything (SSgt, MSgt, LCpl, MCCES, etc.). Most people write the Acronyms because they’re easier.