NCO Day puts command in their hands

10 Sep 2002 | Gunnery Sgt. Michelle Smith

Anyone who had business to conduct Monday with 1st Battalion, 6th Marines may have been a bit surprised to find noncommissioned officers servings as the senior leadership.  As part of the Battalion's NCO Day, corporals and sergeants were in charge of the battalion.

The Marines weren't just goofing off however - they with were tasked with solving real problems and handling the day-to-day operations of the companies and the battalion.

The Marines performed such tasks as completing the morning report, getting a complete company ready for the field and attending a staff meeting with the acting Battalion sergeant major.

" My acting first sergeant had a busy day," said Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines First Sergeant 1st. Sgt. Mark C. Freres.
According to the Santa Barbara, Calif., native., Sgt Luis A. Santiago, the acting first sergeant, and Weapons Company Fire Direction Control Chief, did an excellent job.

"His taskers varied in complexity from getting the numbers of Marines for a company T-shirt that's being created to compiling a list of serialized gear for Marines going to the field."

Santiago had his own ideas of the day.

"Anyone who believes that a first sergeant doesn't do anything but sit at his desk, is wrong," said Santiago of Vineland, N.J.

"The first sergeant's job is very paper intensive.  He spends a great deal of his day completing paper work and listening and solving Marines' personal problems," he said.

Santiago is not naive to assuming greater responsibility. He served previously as the Battalion sergeant major.

"I learned a great deal. NCO Day provides an opportunity for Marines who wants to be a first sergeant or stay in the Marine Corps to know just what the job entails."

Such professionalism and dedication were abound throughout the battalion.
Corporal Kevin W. Clark served as Bravo Company commander.
According to the Mission, Texas native, being the company commander provided a lesson in - passing the word.

"It's amazing to see how information gets changed as it is passed to the junior Marines.  My goal was to ensure that what I said was what the Marines were told."

"NCO Day gives the NCOs insight to how the battalion staff and officers operate on a daily basis," said Battalion Sergeant Major and Indianapolis native Sgt. Maj. Tony R.  Frank.  "It shows the Marines how they fit into the commanders big picture."