Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA --
Marine Corps noncommissioned officers (NCOs) of Marine Corps Embassy Security Group (MCESG) laced up their boots and donned their utes Aug. 16 for a tough morning of physical training (PT) structured to strengthen their minds as well as their bodies.
The physical training session led by Staff Sgt. Daniel Best, instructor and adviser at the MCESG Marine Security Guard School, designed the session to emphasize the importance of leadership, teamwork and what it means to rely on their brothers and sisters in arms.
“Every Marine shares one common goal—accomplishing the mission at hand,” Best said. “As every Marine stands side- by- side in one common purpose they thrive and are fueled off of one another’s energy as they push to accomplish the mission at all cost.”
As the Marines stretched their limbs before the training session, Best asked the Marines to look at their fellow Marines and know their comrades beside them will give nothing less than 100 percent.
According to Best, the collective unit is only as strong as its weakest link and it is the duty of every Marine to hold their weakest accountable by pushing them to succeed. However, if a Marine is not willing to take command of their own growth and their fellow NCOs, then they may not be ready to take command of subordinate Marines.
The physical training started at MCESG Headquarters, but once the mist evaporated from the morning air, Marines took to the MCB-1 road alongside the headquarters building and participated in a one mile interval sprint, which included mini exercises such as the fireman and buddy carries, tandem pushups, leg raises and squat sit-ups.
Best also incorporated the Marine Corps Mixed Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) into the PT session. This included sparring exercises such as jabs and kicks, with each blow absorbed by their partner who was holding a punching bag.
There were no incentives in this training session other than lessons learned, Best told the Marines.
The most important lesson Best taught the NCOs was that their work never stops.
According to Best, as Marines promote up through the ranks and gain more responsibility and are recognized as leaders among their junior Marines, the Warrior Ethos—the culture by which NCOs live? demands nothing but excellence.
“The session was a good reminder of what we as NCOs are supposed to be doing,” Sgt. Damian Rodriguez said. “As NCOs we are supposed to be able to take a deep and honest look at ourselves before we even begin to think about our role in cultivating junior Marines.”
Sgt. Steve Ezzell believes the most important aspect of the session was the leadership and teamwork component.
“If we as Marines cannot take charge of ourselves, how can we lead a team of Marines under us?” Ezzell asked. “We want our junior Marines to look to us as leadership figures and know when we give our all, they will do the same.”
Best says by maintaining a high intensity, keeping proper form and wiping away the pain face, the NCOs would be able to set the tone for future Marines and further more hold them accountable.
“This exercise was beneficial because it kept us trained and alert while forcing us to work together and give 100 percent to accomplish the mission at hand,” Cpl. Joseph Spath said. “We are all war fighters and should train as so.”
Best said many joined the Marine Corps to make a real difference and impact the world for the better.
“If a Marine is tied down to a desk and says this is not why I joined the Marine Corps, then that Marine needs to reevaluate why he is sitting in his cubical,” Best said. “Marines are supposed to live a warrior’s culture and if they want to make an impact and stay active they will find a way to work hard and fix it.”
Spath was one Marine who was tied down to a desk in an air conditioned room for two years, leaving him feeling as if he wasn’t serving to his full capability.
He believes because of the physical training session, which incorporated MCMAP tactics, he will now take a new approach to stay fit and encourage Marines within his military occupational specialty to do the same.
As the MCESG – NCOs continue to provide protection to mission personnel and prevent the compromise of national security, they now have an alternative way to be trained and prepare for and execute their mission in every clime and place.