Deployed Airmen, Marines conquer U.S. Marine Corps Corporal’s Course

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ramon A. Adelan
  • 407th Air Expeditionary Group Public Affairs
There’s a point in any military career when service members are asked to lead others.

Deployed Airmen at the 407th Air Expeditionary Group were given the opportunity to attend the U.S. Marine Corps’ Corporal’s Course to gain vital skills to be successful as enlisted leaders.

Attending alongside their Marine brothers-in-arms, Airmen embarked on the two-week training, which is designed to build new competencies and expand upon prior leadership experience.

“This is the foundation. This is where they start building knowledge and experience to be in charge of others,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Ryan Prosper, a 1st Battalion 7th Marines Corporal’s Course instructor. “A lot of the material they received will be used on a daily basis because at some time or another they will have subordinates seeking out their knowledge.”

The course focused on the duties and responsibilities of an NCO, requirements of leadership, drill, traditions, land navigation and physical training.

“The course was fairly difficult at first,” said Air Force Senior Airman Nathaniel Jurado, a 407th Expeditionary Communications Squadron client systems technician. “After going through it, it’s given me another understanding of what is to be a leader. The Marines have their own version of core values, which a lot of them play into each other. That gives me a different view of characteristics and different nuances of leadership.”

The Corporal’s Course is similar to the Air Force’s Airman Leadership School, which is a requirement for senior airmen before their promotion to the rank of staff sergeant. Completing the course for Marines is likewise a requirement to be eligible for promotion to sergeant.

“Airmen or Marine, success comes from passion and willingness to learn and further their education and career,” Prosper said. “Additionally, the instructors need to have that same passion. They need to be able to put their experience and real world relevance into the course.”

Ten Airmen accepted the challenge and completed the same demanding curriculum as their fellow classmates. Adjusting to the special rhythm of Marine Corps training, they were able to learn things beyond normal Air Force NCO coursework, from land navigation to ceremonial sword-drill.

“Instructing and observing the course, I have seen the barrier between Air Force and Marine break and the building of comradery between the two,” said Marine Corps Sgt. Jasmine Gascon, a Special Marine Air Ground Task Force legal chief and Corporal’s Course instructor. “This course provides the resources for NCOs to become better leaders. It provides more knowledge, and knowledge is power.”