the-role-of-the-nco by ashrafp


									                                       U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                            Category 1 – Leadership
                                            Skill 5 – Responsibilities

                                  The Role of the NCO
                                                             century. The condottiere (kon’ dot tye’ re) a group
                                                             of French, Swiss, and Italian mercenaries, were the
                                                             first example of a modern military organization. It
   PURPOSE                                                   was in these units that the ranks “Sergeant” and
                                                             “Corporal” were first utilized. The rank of
   This lesson explains the role of the Non-
                                                             sergeant is the older of the two, dating from c.
   Commissioned Officer for the Marine Corps
   and the MCJROTC.
                                                                      The American noncommissioned officer
                                                             dates back to the American Revolution. Baron
                                                             von Steuben, a Prussian adviser to the Americans,
Introduction                                                 was responsible for molding the Americans into a
         What would the US Marine Corps be like              professional army. He placed great importance on
without the noncommissioned officer? It would                the role of the NCO. On the topic of choosing
be a group lacking in cohesiveness, discipline, and          NCOs, Baron von Steuben stated, “The order and
order. It is difficult to think of an elite and              discipline of a regiment depends so much on their
versatile force in such a manner. The NCO is the             behavior, that too much care cannot be taken....”
glue that holds the Marines together. In order to            The Marine Corps shares von Steuben's opinion
maintain the dignity of command there must be                of the importance of the NCO.
an intermediate between the officer and the
troops, a “go between.” This is the NCO’s
responsibility. The Marine NCO is the catalyst,              The Purpose of NCOs
the backbone of the Corps.                                            Noncommissioned          officers     are
                                                             responsible for assisting and advising officers in
                                                             carrying out their duties. They must also be
Origins of the NCO                                           prepared to assume the duties and the
         The concept of noncommissioned                      responsibilities of the officer when absent. There
officers is not a product of modern military                 is no clear-cut division between officer and NCO
organization. It is as old as the act of war itself.         responsibilities and duties. There are several
For example, there is evidence to suggest that a             reasons for the existence of Marine NCOs. In the
form of NCO existed in the forces of Moses                   following paragraphs, the five main purposes for
during the seventh century B.C. During the years             Marine NCOs will be outlined.
of Roman dominance, the centurion commanded
the smallest tactical unit in the Roman army. The                     Decentralization of command authority
centurion’s position is comparable to an NCO’s in            is a key element of the NCOs’ jobs. This means
that they communicated commands from the                     that the authority of the commanding officer is
senior leaders to the individual units.                      entrusted with the NCOs. They conduct the daily
                                                             business of the Marine Corps within established
       After the fall of the Roman Empire, there             orders, directives, and policies. The NCO ensures
were no organized armies until the fourteenth

                                       U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                            Category 1 – Leadership
                                            Skill 5 – Responsibilities

that the officer’s commands are carried out and              team training that develops the capability to
put into effect.                                             accomplish the mission. By working through their
                                                             NCOs, officers are able to incorporate their ideas,
                                                             policies, and directives. As explained in the
                                                             previous paragraph, the officer analyzes the
                                                             current situation, develops a plan of action, and
                                                             incorporates     policies. The NCO            must
                                                             communicate with the enlisted personnel. The
                                                             officer creates conditions and makes time and
                                                             other resources available. The NCO gets the job
                                                                      In addition to implementing the officer’s
                                                             policies, the NCO must act as an adviser to the
                                                             commander. These positions are held by senior
                                                             enlisted personnel -- a platoon sergeant at the
                                                             platoon level, a first sergeant at the company level,
                                                             and a sergeant major at the battalion level. These
                                                             individuals must call on their experience in the
                                                             Corps to aid the officer in the decision making
                                                             process. Good officers will value the advice of the
                                                             noncommissioned officers under their command.
         Think of the platoon level in your                  This relationship is particularly valuable to the
organization. First, the platoon commander                   NCO. It affords the NCO the opportunity to
confers with superiors to obtain general guidance            influence the way in which the Corps is operated.
on what needs to be accomplished. After                      This privilege should never be abused or
analyzing the situation, the platoon commander               neglected.
decides on a plan of action. The NCOs then use                        Finally, the NCO ranks provide enlisted
the authority invested in them to enforce the                personnel with the opportunity for advancement
policies, orders, and directives set by the platoon          and reward. Through hard work, every Marine can
commander. The platoon sergeant implements the               advance, proving to others that the avenue for
platoon commander’s ideas, using his junior                  advancement and reward does exist. Enlisted
NCOs to supervise different tasks that need to be            Marines may realize their full potential as leaders.
accomplished.                                                The NCO ranks also recognize and reward
         Perhaps the most important duty that the            enlisted personnel for outstanding technical and
NCO performs is to act as a link between                     military skills. This is evident in the
commanders and their subordinates. This duty                 noncommissioned officer’s role as adviser to the
applies toward all officers, not just commanders.            commander. The adviser role is one of honor, a
For example, the officer concentrates on collective          reward for outstanding service as a Marine.
training that will enable the unit to accomplish the
task. The NCO concentrates on individual and

                                       U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                            Category 1 – Leadership
                                            Skill 5 – Responsibilities

Creed of the NCO                                             Relations between Officers and
        “I am an NCO dedicated to training new               Enlisted Marines
Marines and influencing the old. I am forever                         Marines are involved on a daily basis in
conscious of each Marine under my charge, and                officer/enlisted relationships. Marine Corps
by example will inspire him to the highest                   standards of behavior were developed to promote
standards possible. I will strive to be patient,             good order, discipline, and mutual respect
understanding, just, and firm. I will commend the            between Marines of different ranks.
deserving and encourage the wayward.
                                                                      Situations that promote familiarity or
         “I will never forget that I am responsible          undue informality among Marines of different
to my Commanding Officer for the morale,                     grades should be avoided. For example, if you
discipline, and efficiency of my men. Their                  were a Marine lieutenant it would be improper to
performance will reflect an image of me.”                    associate on a social basis with the enlisted
                                                             personnel under your command.
                                                                      As a MCJROTC cadet, you should follow
Creed of the Staff NCO
                                                             these rules of behavior in accordance with the
         “I am a Staff Noncommissioned Officer               situation. At MCJROTC functions and in the
in the United States Marine Corps. As such, I am             classroom, respect for rank should be present. As
a member of the most unique group of                         students, it is likely that you will associate with
professional military practitioners in the world. I          fellow cadets outside of MCJROTC activities.
am bound by duty to God, Country, and my                     This is acceptable.
fellow Marines to execute the demands of my
position to and beyond what I believe to be the
limits of my capabilities.                                   Major General Lejeune’s
        “I realize I am the mainstay of Marine               Precepts
Corps discipline, and I carry myself with military                   The following precepts as expressed by
grace, unbowed by the weight of command,                     Major General John A. Lejeune, the 13th
unflinching in the execution lawful orders, and              Commandant, appeared in the Marine Corps
unswerving in my dedication to the most                      Manual, 1921 Edition. Since that time, they have
complete success of my assigned mission.                     defined the relationship that exists between
                                                             Marine officers and the enlisted.
         “Both my professional and personal
demeanor shall be such that I may take pride if my
juniors emulate me, and knowing perfection to lie
beyond the grasp of any mortal hand, I shall yet
strive to attain perfection that I may ever be aware
of my needs and capabilities to improve myself. I
shall be fair in my personal relations, just in the
enforcement of discipline, true to myself and my
fellow Marines, and equitable in my dealing with
every man.”

                                         U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                              Category 1 – Leadership
                                              Skill 5 – Responsibilities

Comradeship and Brotherhood                                    and wholesome entertainment for the men. This
                                                               effort must be intelligent and not perfunctory, the
         The World War (WWI) wrought a great                   object being not only to do away with idleness,
change in the relations between officers and                   but to train and cultivate the bodies, the minds,
enlisted men in the military services. A spirit of             and the spirit of our men.
comradeship and brotherhood in arms came into
being in the training camps and on the battlefields.           Love of Corps and Country
This spirit is too fine a thing to be allowed to die.                   It will be necessary for officers not only
It must be fostered and kept alive and made the                to devote their close attention to the many
moving force in all Marine Corps organizations.                questions affecting the comfort, health, military
Teacher and Scholar                                            training, and discipline of the men under their
                                                               command, but also to do the following:
         The relation between officers and enlisted
                                                                          Actively promote athletics and to
men should in no sense be that of superior and
inferior nor that of master and servant, but rather                        endeavor to enlist the interest of their
                                                                           team in building up and maintaining their
that of teacher and scholar. In fact, it should
                                                                           bodies in the finest physical condition.
partake of the nature of the relation between
father and son, to the extent that officers,                              Encourage them to enroll in the Marine
especially commanding officers, are responsible                            Corps Institute and to keep up their
for the physical, mental, and moral welfare, as well                       studies after enrollment, and
as the discipline and military training of the young
                                                                          Make every effort by means of historical,
men under their command who are serving the
                                                                           educational and patriotic address to
nation in the Marine Corps.
                                                                           cultivate in their hearts a deep abiding
Physical, Moral, and Mental Improvement                                    love of the Corps and country."

         The realization of this responsibility on             Leadership
the part of officers is vital to the well-being of the
                                                                        Finally, it must be kept in mind that the
Marine Corps. It is especially so, for the reason
                                                               American soldier responds quickly and readily to
that so large a proportion of the men enlisting are
                                                               the exhibition of qualities of leadership on the part
under twenty-one years of age. These men are in
                                                               of his officers. Some of these qualities are
the formative period of their lives, and officers
                                                               industry, energy, initiative, determination,
owe it to them, to their parents, and to the nation,
                                                               enthusiasm,      firmness,     kindness,    justness,
that when discharged from the services they
                                                               self-control, unselfishness, honor, and courage.
should be far better men physically, mentally, and
                                                               Every officer should endeavor by all means in his
morally than they were when they enlisted.
                                                               power to make himself the possessor of these
Train and Cultivate Bodies, Minds, and                         qualities and thereby to fit himself to be a real
Spirits.                                                       leader of men.

        To accomplish this task successfully, a                        Major General Lejeune did not mean for
constant effort must be made by all officers to fill           these words to be read only by commanders. He
each day with useful and interesting instruction               intended that they apply to all officers and

                                       U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                            Category 1 – Leadership
                                            Skill 5 – Responsibilities

noncommissioned officers alike. They should be               responsibility and the obligation to perform their
understood and put into use on a daily basis.                duties to the absolute best of their abilities. The
Likewise, your unit, as a whole, and the cadets              Marine NCOs have a tough road to follow.
individually, can only benefit from such a practice.         However, they can find comfort in the tradition
                                                             set by the great Marine NCOs who led the way;
                                                             namely, Quick, Daly, Basilone, and Hulbert.
Special Trust and Confidence                                 Sergeant Major John Quick
         The United States Marine Corps is
demanding of its noncommissioned officers. As                         Sergeant Major Quick was a quiet man.
you have already learned, the Marine NCOs are                He won the Medal of Honor in Cuba in 1898 and
known as the backbone of the Corps. Their duties             the Distinguished Service Cross in WW I, yet was
are numerous and they must often perform them                humble concerning his accomplishments. He rose
under great pressure and hardship. They must                 to sergeant in his first enlistment, an extraordinary
maintain a level of expertise and be able to                 feat in those days, but to Sergeant Quick it was
communicate with all personnel. At any one                   just part of the job. For this man, outstanding
moment, the noncommissioned officer could be                 performance was routine, just part of the business
called upon to lead Marines or serve as an adviser           and his business was being a Marine. The relations
to the commander. Despite the difficulty of these            Sergeant Quick enjoyed with all men were
duties, the Marine Corps expects them to be                  excellent. He was equally admired and respected
performed at the highest levels attainable.                  by his officers and by his troops, for they all knew
                                                             that he had an interest in them, and in their
          In return for their diligence, Marine
                                                             common task, the Marine Corps.
NCOs enjoy a distinct and unequaled honor. They
are given the special trust and confidence of the                     War correspondent Stephen Crane,
United States Marine Corps. These words can be               author of The Red Badge of Courage, watched
found on the Marine NCO’s certificate of                     Sergeant Quick as Quick stood exposed to enemy
appointment, a document that bears the Marine                gunners on a hilltop in Cuba. He calmly signaled
Corps seal. The NCO’s certificates are signed by             naval gunfire corrections with his back to the
their Commanding Officer and the SNCO’s                      enemy while under gunfire. Crane said of the
certificates are signed by the Commandant of the             sergeant, “He was the embodiment of
Marine Corps. The NCO’s certificate is the                   tranquility...absorbed only in the business at hand
foundation of the noncommissioned officer’s                  ... he was magnificent.” This calm man only spoke
status, rank, and authority.                                 when he had something worth saying, something
                                                             of importance to the Marine Corps or to the
        An individual reaching the NCO ranks
                                                             person addressed. His control of his emotions,
should be proud of such an achievement. On the
                                                             quiet courage, and confidence in the Marine Corps
foundation of this special trust and confidence,
                                                             were noted repeatedly by those with whom he
NCOs are given privileges. These privileges do
not come without a price. The price is greater

                                       U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                           Category 1 – Leadership
                                           Skill 5 – Responsibilities

                                                            As a first sergeant in Germany, he led an assault
                                                            on German machine gun nests with the cry,
                                                            “Come on... do you want to live forever?”
                                                                     Brave as he was, Sergeant Daly had much
                                                            more than reckless courage in combat, for he was
                                                            noted as one of the most efficient and respected
                                                            noncommissioned officers in the Marine Corps.
                                                            He was a tough disciplinarian, but was popular
                                                            and respected. He was fair-minded and worked
                                                            constantly to protect the rights and promote the
                                                            welfare of those who served under him. He was a
                                                            real leader who fulfilled his mission by knowing
                                                            his men, caring for them, and causing them to
                                                            work together. When offered an officer’s
                                                            commission, Daly said, “Any officer can get by on
                                                            his sergeants. To be a sergeant, you have to know
                                                            your stuff. I’d rather be an outstanding sergeant
        Sergeant Major John Quick                           than just another officer.” Sergeant Major Daly
         Sergeant     Quick        earned     such          used his knowledge to apply the principles of
commendations from his contemporaries and                   leadership in such a manner as to become one of
commanders by practicing his business of                    the Corps’ finest leaders.
leadership in such a way as to foster excellent             Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone
relations with those whom he came in contact. He
was an exceptional leader because he listened to                      Sergeant “Manila John” Basilone was the
others. He appreciated their efforts and did not            first enlisted Marine in World War II to win the
consider himself all-important. Sergeant Quick              Congressional Medal of Honor. He first served as
employed his human relations skills to build                an Army private in the Philippines before joining
confidence, to furnish inspiration, and to maintain         the       Marines.     At     Guadalcanal,    the
morale. In so doing, he led his Marines to serve as         twenty-five-year-old Sergeant Basilone proved his
well as he did.                                             character.

Sergeant Major Dan Daly                                             One day, after heavy bombardment from
                                                            the Japanese, Basilone counterattacked with his
         Sergeant Daly retired in 1920 with the             machine gun. At one point, he instructed Marines
rank of Sergeant Major, after more than twenty              to push aside the piled up bodies to clear his field
years of highly distinguished service with the              of fire. At another position, the Japanese
Marine Corps. Sergeant Daly had the distinction             penetrated the Marine lines. Sergeant Basilone
of being one of only three men in history who was           lugged up another machine gun on his back and
awarded two Congressional Medals of Honor. He               fired on the enemy to drive them off. When the
also won the Distinguished Service Cross. As a              resupply line was cut off, he fought his way
private in China and as a gunnery sergeant in               through the Japanese to bring up more
Haiti, he demonstrated his bravery and dedication.          ammunition. When Colonel “Chesty” Puller

                                        U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                             Category 1 – Leadership
                                             Skill 5 – Responsibilities

recommended him for the Medal of Honor, Puller                            Blanc Mont Ridge in the Champagne
said that Basilone had “contributed materially to                         country of France. It was a gloomy,
the defeat and virtually the annihilation of a                            brooding place, littered with the wreckage
Japanese regiment.”                                                       of the previous day’s fighting, American,
                                                                          French      and     German      dead     all
         After the defeat of the Japanese at
                                                                          intermingled. A tall Texas Marine in
Guadalcanal, he returned to America to campaign
                                                                          Major George Hamilton’s 1st Battalion,
in War Bond Drives. Although serving admirably
                                                                          Lieutenant John W. Thomason, thought it
in this position, he grew tired of the daily routine.
                                                                          an evil place, made for calamities. Private
Considering himself a fighting Marine, he
                                                                          Elton Mackin, one of Hamilton’s
requested transfer back to the Pacific. His request
                                                                          battalion runners--the most dangerous job
granted, he returned in time for the invasion of
                                                                          a Marine could have--remembered that
Iwo Jima. At Iwo Jima, he was killed after
                                                                          the battalion went into action that day at
destroying a blockhouse and guiding a tank
                                                                          T/O strength of slightly more than 1,000.
through a minefield. Gunnery Sergeant John
Basilone was awarded the Navy Cross                                                The Germans resisted furiously,
posthumously for his actions. “Manila John”                               desperate to prevent the collapse of their
Basilone’s efforts are the epitome of courage and                         entire front. If Blanc Mont Ridge fell, the
devotion to duty that characterize Marine NCOs.                           dominant feature of the entire region
                                                                          would be lost, and the Meuse River
                                                                          crossing would be wide open to the
                                                                          Americans. With Blanc Mont Ridge gone,
                                                                          the bastion of the Hindenburg Line
                                                                          would be irretrievably ruptured. The
                                                                          shell-ravaged white chalk slopes of the
                                                                          ridge became the scene of some of the
                                                                          most savage fighting of the war. For more
                                                                          than a week Marines fought with rifles,
                                                                          bayonets, hand grenades, knives and bare
                                                                          fists, prying tenacious German infantry
                                                                          from a maze of trenches and bunkers
Sergeant Major Henry Hulbert                                              with names like the Essen Trench, the
                                                                          Kriemhilde Stellung and the Essen Hook.
       (Story    provided  by   Leatherneck
Magazine, January 1999, From Exile to Hero,                                       When it was finally over, when all
                                                                          objectives had been secured, the 134
Henry Hulbert, by Maj Allan C. Bevilacqua,
                                                                          remaining members of 1st Bn, 5th
USMC (Ret))
                                                                          Marines filed wearily down from the torn
                 In the cold, drizzling pre-dawn                          and blasted ridge. Among those they left
        dark of Oct. 4, 1918, the 5th Marines                             behind was an unlikely 51-year-old
        passed through the ranks of its brothers                          platoon leader, a man whose courage and
        in the 6th Marines to continue the attack                         leadership were an inspiration to all who
        against the key German strong point of                            knew him. Yet, for all that, he was a man

                               U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                   Category 1 – Leadership
                                   Skill 5 – Responsibilities

whose life had been spent erasing a dark                        those impressed was Robert Douglas
secret of shame and disgrace. His story                         Hewett, state auditor for Perak and right-
began years before.                                             hand man of the British Resident
                                                                (governor) Frank Sweattenham. Soon
         He was born Henry Lewis
                                                                young Hulbert was exercising authority
Hulbert on Jan. 12, 1867, in Kingston-
                                                                and responsibility far beyond his years
Upon-Hull, Yorkshire, England. The first
                                                                and exercising it exceedingly well. His
child of a prosperous merchant family, he
                                                                records show such diverse assignments as
was joined by a brother and three sisters.
                                                                Inspector of Public Works in Krian,
None of the children of Henry Ernest
                                                                District Engineer for Kuala Kangsar,
Hulbert and Frances (Gamble) Hulbert
                                                                Harbor Master for the port of Matang
knew the want and deprivation that was
                                                                and District Magistrate for Kinta District.
the lot of so many children born into the
industrial cities of the mid-19th century.                              He also acquired a sweetheart,
Theirs was a childhood, if not of luxury,                       Anne Rose Hewett, his mentor’s sister,
then certainly of abundance, an                                 who had been born in Bombay, India. In
abundance that included a far better than                       June of 1888, with the approval and best
average education.                                              wishes of the influential Hewett family,
                                                                the two were married. A year later the
          For young Henry this meant
                                                                young couple welcomed the arrival of a
matriculation at the prestigious and
                                                                daughter, Sydney. It was, to all
exclusive Felsted School in Essex, a
                                                                appearances, a perfect family.
school that traces its origins to 1564. At
the age of 13, already showing signs of                                  Henry Lewis Hulbert’s career was
the tall, rangy, handsome young man he                          taking off. His own exceptional abilities
would become, Henry Lewis Hulbert                               and his marriage into a powerful family
found himself immersed in the                                   guaranteed his eventual rise to the top.
demanding rigors of a classical education                       Admired and respected by his peers and
in mathematics, science, Latin, Greek and                       favored by his superiors, he was a man
English literature. There was a purpose to                      marked for success. Then, in the early
all of this, for even at an early age the                       summer of 1897, everything crashed
young Yorkshireman had determined                               down around him. Henry Lewis Hulbert
upon a career in Britain’s Colonial Civil                       had fallen deeply in love with his wife’s
Service. In 1884, not yet 18 years old,                         younger sister, visiting from England. It
Henry Lewis Hulbert received his first                          had begun secretly two years earlier
appointment-clerk and storekeeper-in the                        during a previous visit. Drawn irresistibly
Civil Service of the Malay State of Perak,                      toward each other, they had become
today a part of the country of Malaysia.                        lovers. Then they were discovered, and
                                                                the fury of the Hewett family descended
          The drive for excellence that was
                                                                like an executioner’s axe.
to mark the rest of his life manifested
itself with superior performance that soon                             The sister-in-law was immediately
caught the eyes of his supervisors. Among                       put aboard a ship bound for England,

                               U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                    Category 1 – Leadership
                                    Skill 5 – Responsibilities

only to die tragically in a shipwreck during                     a defensible position covered by the guns
a storm on the homeward voyage. For                              of the warships offshore. Under fire from
Henry Lewis Hulbert there was                                    three sides, he stood his ground, refusing
banishment. He was sent packing with                             to withdraw until the main body had
scarcely more than the clothes on his                            established a new defensive perimeter.
back, told to leave the Malay States and                         Single-handedly he held off the attackers,
never return. A discreet and very quiet                          while at the same time he protected two
divorce followed.                                                mortally wounded officers, Lieutenant
                                                                 Monaghan, USN and Lt Freeman, RN. In
         Where does a man go when he
                                                                 his official report of the action, Lt
flees disgrace and shame? For Henry
                                                                 Constantine M. Perkins, commander of
Lewis Hulbert it was Skagway, jumping
                                                                 Philadelphia’s Marine Guard, wrote of Pvt
off point for Chilkoot Pass and the
                                                                 Hulbert: “His conduct throughout was
Klondike gold fields. The venture didn’t
                                                                 worthy of all honor and praise.”
pan out. By the following spring, he had
wandered to San Francisco. With war                                       When he left USS Philadelphia in
with Spain looming, Henry Lewis Hulbert                          1902, Hulbert wore the chevrons of a
enlisted in the Marine Corps on March                            sergeant. The years that followed saw his
28, 1898, a 31-year-old private with a                           steady rise through the enlisted ranks.
ruined life behind him and skimpy                                Serving in a succession of billets ashore
prospects before him. It is unlikely that he                     and afloat that were representative of the
thought of it in such dramatic terms, but                        era, he never missed an award of the
the moment he had spent his life waiting                         Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal and
for had arrived. The exiled magistrate and                       never fired less than Expert Rifleman in
the United States Marine Corps were                              his regular service rifle requalification. His
made for each other.                                             conduct and proficiency marks were
                                                                 uniformly the highest that could be
         Boot camp at Mare Island, Calif.,
                                                                 awarded, and his service records contain
was followed by assignment to the Marine
                                                                 numerous commendations by reporting
Guard, USS Philadelphia (C-4) and the
                                                                 seniors. He was also gaining a reputation
beginning of a remarkable record as a
                                                                 as a totally dependable noncommissioned
United States Marine. Barely more than a
                                                                 officer, whose advice was sought by
year after his enlistment, on April 1, 1899,
                                                                 seniors and subordinates alike. A
during a combined British-American
                                                                 congenial and friendly man, whose
expedition in Samoa, Henry Lewis
                                                                 knowledge and experience covered an
Hulbert was awarded the Medal of Honor
                                                                 array of subjects, and who delighted in
for extraordinary heroism. When the
                                                                 good company and good conversation, he
landing force of British and American
                                                                 was described by a fellow Marine as
Marines and seamen was ambushed by a
                                                                 having “the bearing and manners of a fine
numerically superior rebel force, Private
                                                                 gentleman and the complete and all-
Hulbert, despite being wounded himself,
                                                                 embracing courtesy of an earlier
conducted a one-man delaying action that
                                                                 generation.” Yet even those who knew
enabled the landing force to withdraw to

                               U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                   Category 1 – Leadership
                                   Skill 5 – Responsibilities

him best never heard him speak of his life                      Chaumont with the 5th Marines in July
before joining the Marine Corps.                                1917.
          By 1917 Hulbert had attained the                               In France they tried to give him a
grade of sergeant major, the Marine                             safe job out of the way at regimental
Corps’ senior NCO of that grade, and he                         headquarters, but they could not keep
served on the personal staff of Major                           him there. At every opportunity--and he
General Commandant George Barnett.                              created plenty of opportunities--he found
He also had remarried, and he and his                           his way up to the front lines and indulged
wife, Victoria, had settled into a modest                       himself in a bit of free-lance fighting.
house in Riverdale, Md., eventually to be                       Finally, the powers that be gave in to the
joined by an infant daughter, Leila Lilian                      inevitable. Gunner Hulbert, 51 years old,
Hulbert. It was also in 1917, shortly                           was assigned as a platoon leader with the
before America’s entry into World War I,                        66th Company (later C Co), 1st Bn, 5th
that Hulbert appeared before an                                 Marines. It did not take the enemy long to
examining board to determine his fitness                        learn he was there.
for appointment to the newly established
                                                                         Wounded in his regiment’s first
grade of Marine gunner. On March 24,
                                                                major engagement, at Belleau Wood on
1917,       with      the      enthusiastic
                                                                June 6, 1918, Gunner Hulbert was twice
recommendation of the president of the
                                                                cited in official orders for acts of bravery.
examining board, Brigadier General John
                                                                On one occasion, armed only with a rifle,
A. Lejeune, Henry Lewis Hulbert became
                                                                he single-handedly attacked German
the first Marine ever to wear the bursting
                                                                machine-gun positions and, as the citation
bomb grade insignia of a Marine gunner.
                                                                read, “left seven of the enemy dead and
         Considered too old for combat at                       put the remainder to flight.” The second
the age of 50, Gunner Hulbert                                   citation commended him for continuing
nonetheless pressed to be among those                           to lead his platoon in attacks that routed
sent to France. He could have remained                          the defenders of a series of strong points
safe and secure in his position in the                          despite being painfully wounded himself.
office    of    the    Major      General
                                                                          The platoon leader who was old
Commandant, returning home each
                                                                enough to be the father of the men he
evening to his wife and daughter. Who
                                                                led, whose stamina and endurance were
would have expected a man of his years
                                                                the envy of men half his age, was not
to go off to war? He did, and that was
                                                                quite finished. A third act of heroism led
what was important. There was a war, and
                                                                him to be decorated with the
the old war horse could not sit idly by
                                                                Distinguished Service Cross, one of the
while other Marines fought it. Finally
                                                                first Marines to be so recognized. In his
winning the approval of Gen Barnett,
                                                                official report of the monthlong fighting
with whom he had a long and close
                                                                in Belleau Wood, Army MajGen Omar L.
association, Hulbert, again the Marine
                                                                Bundy, commanding general of the 2d
Corps’ senior officer of his grade, sailed
                                                                Division, United States Regular, in which
for France aboard the old transport

                              U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                   Category 1 – Leadership
                                   Skill 5 – Responsibilities

the 5th Marines served as part of the                           and cited for bravery a fourth time. The
famed Marine Brigade, singled out                               French government bestowed the Croix
Hulbert, “for his extraordinary heroism in                      de Guerre Order of the Army upon this
leading attacks against enemy positions on                      “most gallant soldier.” Britannia’s son,
June 6th.” MajGen Bundy concluded,                              who gave his life for his adopted land,
“No one could have rendered more                                rests today in Virginia’s Arlington
valuable service than Gunner Hulbert.”                          National Cemetery. His name is among
                                                                those inscribed on the Peace Cross at
         Gen Bundy was not alone in his
                                                                Bladensburg, Md., erected in 1919 to
praise. Captain George K. Shuler, USMC
                                                                honor the memory of the men from
wrote, “I should be most glad to have
                                                                Prince George’s County who died in the
Gunner Hulbert under me in any
                                                                Great War.
capacity, and should he through good
fortune be promoted over me I should be                                  However, the story of Henry
most happy to serve under his                                   Lewis Hulbert did not end with his death
command.” Lt W. T. Galliford, himself a                         in France. On June 28, 1919, Victoria C.
winner of the Distinguished Service                             Hulbert, the widow of this inspirational
Cross, remarked, “If the Fifth Regiment                         Marine, christened the destroyer USS
goes over the top, I want to go with                            Henry L. Hulbert (DD-342) when it was
Mister Hulbert.” Gen John J. Pershing,                          launched at Norfolk, Va. Commissioned
commander        of     the    American                         and put into service in 1920, Hulbert
Expeditionary       Force,    personally                        served continually on the Asiatic Station
recommended that Hulbert be directly                            until 1929 when she returned to
commissioned as a captain.                                      American waters, remaining there until
                                                                she was decommissioned in 1934.
         Heroism under fire at Soissons,
                                                                Recalled to service in 1940, Hulbert was
an action in which he was again wounded,
                                                                assigned to the Pacific Fleet and on Dec.
saw Gunner Hulbert cited for bravery yet
                                                                7, 1941, was moored at Berth D-3,
again, commissioned a second lieutenant
                                                                Submarine Base, Pearl Harbor, territory
and immediately promoted to first
                                                                of Hawaii. While Hulbert's whaleboats
lieutenant. But the trail ahead of him was
                                                                rescued seamen from stricken ships along
growing short. At Blanc Mont Ridge on
                                                                Battleship Row, her .50-caliber antiaircraft
Oct. 4, 1918, the Second Division’s
                                                                battery brought down a Japanese torpedo
bloodiest single day of the war, it ended.
                                                                bomber and damaged two others. The
         Approved by the Secretary of the                       ship continued to serve in the Central and
Navy for promotion to the grade of                              North Pacific until she was taken to
captain, Henry Lewis Hulbert, up front as                       Philadelphia and decommissioned for the
usual, was struck down by an unknown                            last time in November 1945. In 1946,
German machine-gunner. John W.                                  USS Henry L. Hulbert was stricken from
Thomason saw him fall and noted the                             the Navy List and sold for scrap.
peaceful look upon his face. He was
posthumously awarded the Navy Cross

                                            U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                                  Category 1 – Leadership
                                                  Skill 5 – Responsibilities

                  Saved from the scrap heap was                    Lejeune’s definition. After which, the special trust
         the ship’s bell. For more than 50 years                   and confidence of the Marine NCO’s status was
         that bell, along with others of its kind,                 discussed. Finally, you learned about a few of the
         mementos of long-gone ships of the line,                  Marine NCOs who gave their all. You should now
         collected dust in a warehouse at the                      have a general understanding of the NCO’s
         Washington Navy Yard. Then, in July of                    relationship with the Marine Corps.
         1998, thanks to the efforts of the Medal
                                                                            At this point, you may be wondering how
         of Honor Society, the ship’s bell of USS
                                                                   the Marine NCO’s role relates to you as a
         Henry L. Hulbert was rededicated at The
                                                                   MCJROTC cadet. Cadet noncommissioned
         Basic School’s Infantry Officer Course at
                                                                   officers, like their Marine counterparts, will be
         Quantico, Va. On the quarterdeck of
                                                                   selected from those who demonstrate by their
         Mitchell Hall, along with the decorations
                                                                   motivation, achievements, and proficiency in
         won by her ship’s namesake, the bell
                                                                   MCJROTC subjects that they have a desire to
         stands as a reminder of the exemplary
                                                                   lead. During your advancement through the
         qualities of a magnificent Marine. What
                                                                   MCJROTC ranks, you will have to perform as a
         better inspiration for officers about to
                                                                   noncommissioned officer. The Marine Corps
         assume one of the Marine Corps’ most
                                                                   expects you to uphold the principles and
         demanding duties-infantry platoon leader-
                                                                   traditions of the NCO ranks. The following
         than a man whose dedication to duty and
                                                                   paragraphs will define the NCO leadership
         devotion to the Marine Corps continue to
                                                                   positions that you can expect to hold as a cadet.
         serve as an example years after his death
                                                                   Keep in mind that these positions, responsibilities,
         on the battlefield?
                                                                   and duties are a reflection of those found in a
        Did Henry Lewis Hulbert find                               Marine Corps infantry battalion. In these
redemption? Did he regain his lost honor? You be                   descriptions, you should assume the ideal situation
the judge.                                                         as to available ranking NCOs and unit size.
                                                                   Cadet Squad Leader
Author's note: Special thanks for assistance in the
preparation of this article are due to Mary C. Leitch of                    A cadet sergeant should hold this billet. A
Immingham, Lincolnshire, England. Without her detailed             cadet squad’s size will vary depending on the size
and exhaustive research efforts, nothing would be known of         of your MCJROTC unit. A cadet squad leader
the early life of Henry Lewis Hulbert. From all Marines, a
hearty “Well done!”                                                must personally interact with all of the members
                                                                   of the squad on a daily basis. Squad leaders
                                                                   concentrate on each subordinate to ensure that
The Cadet Non-Commissioned
                                                                   each is well-trained, highly motivated, ready, and
                                                                   functioning. Responsibility for standards of
        Throughout this lesson, the role of the                    performance,      training,     and     professional
Marine Noncommissioned Officer has been                            development of cadets in their squad comes with
discussed in great detail. The history and purpose                 the territory. The squad leader’s job is a tough
of NCOs were outlined. The relationship                            one. The NCO will experience more contact with
experienced by officers and enlisted Marines were                  the individual cadet in this position than the NCO
then discussed, concentrating on Major General                     will ever again. Never again will an NCO have this

                                       U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                            Category 1 – Leadership
                                            Skill 5 – Responsibilities

much influence on the individual development of              also acts as an adviser to the platoon commander.
cadets.                                                      In order for a platoon to function efficiently, the
                                                             platoon commander and the cadet platoon
Cadet Platoon Guide
                                                             sergeant must have a good professional
         This position is senior to a squad leader           relationship. The cadet platoon sergeant must be
and should be held by the senior cadet sergeant in           an effective communicator, able to translate the
the platoon. There is more to being the cadet                commander’s wishes down through the ranks.
platoon guide than occupying the senior position             Cadet Company Gunnery Sergeant
in the platoon formation. In this billet, the duties
center on logistics and supply.                                       This position is customarily filled by a
                                                             cadet gunnery sergeant. The NCO filling this
        The cadet platoon guide is responsible for
                                                             position belongs to the company headquarters and
ensuring that the platoon is properly equipped. If
                                                             works directly for the company commander. The
your platoon was planning to participate in some
                                                             company gunnery sergeant’s responsibilities are
sort of MCJROTC competition, the cadet platoon
                                                             essentially an extension of the cadet platoon
guide would be charged with securing the
                                                             guide’s duties. The cadet company “gunny” is the
necessary items. The cadet platoon guide should
                                                             middle man between battalion supply and the
constantly check the status of existing supplies to
                                                             platoon guides of each platoon in the company.
prevent shortages. This also applies to the
condition of the platoon’s uniforms and                      Cadet Company First Sergeant
equipment. They must be kept informed on the
platoon’s supply and logistic status. The cadet                       This position is held by a cadet first
platoon guide is next in line to the cadet platoon           sergeant, the senior noncommissioned officer in
sergeant and must be ready to assume that                    the company. It is primarily one of adviser to the
position at all times.                                       company commander on all matters pertaining to
                                                             the company. The senior NCO is tasked with the
Cadet Platoon Sergeant                                       development of all the NCOs in the company and
                                                             the enlisted in general. The company first sergeant
        The cadet platoon sergeant’s position is
                                                             is particularly concerned with the discipline and
the senior NCO position at the platoon level. A
                                                             morale of the unit. A cadet first sergeant should
Marine rifle platoon has thirty-nine Marines, one
                                                             foresee problems and keep the company
platoon sergeant, and one platoon commander.
                                                             commander informed of all situations. The
However, a cadet platoon’s size will vary with the
                                                             company commander and the company first
size of your MCJROTC unit. A cadet staff
                                                             sergeant must work together as in the platoon
sergeant fills this position.
                                                             commander-platoon sergeant relationship.
        The cadet platoon sergeant concentrates
                                                             Cadet Battalion Sergeant Major
on the platoon’s standards of performance and the
development of junior NCOs and enlisted                               This position is held by a cadet sergeant
personnel. Working with the squad leaders and the            major, the senior noncommissioned officer in the
platoon guide, the platoon sergeant implements               battalion. The two main duties that come with this
the policies, directives, and programs of the                position are to serve as an adviser to the battalion
platoon commander. The cadet platoon sergeant                commander on all matters pertaining to the

                                       U.S. MARINE CORPS. JROTC
                                           Category 1 – Leadership
                                           Skill 5 – Responsibilities

battalion and a senior enlisted leader. As an                          Know cadet regulations and follow
adviser, the cadet sergeant major must use insight                      them – Do not become lax or allow your
and experience to help the commander make                               subordinates to become lax in discipline
decisions. It is the cadet sergeant major’s duty to                     or practice of customs and courtesies.
inform the commander of all problems
                                                                       Lead and teach drill and ceremonies –
discovered. Again, as with other NCO adviser
                                                                        Study and know your drill. Learn to
roles, the cadet sergeant major must work closely
                                                                        observe carefully and correct mistakes or
with the battalion commander. As the senior
                                                                        imprecise execution of movements.
enlisted man in the battalion, the cadet sergeant
major is primarily concerned with the morale of                        Maintain high standards of conduct –
the battalion and the professional development of                       Your actions in and out of uniform, on
all NCOs in the battalion. There is never a                             and off school, grounds reflect the
problem too big for a cadet sergeant major.                             MCJROTC and the Marine Corps. Set a
                                                                        good example and live up to the proud
Responsibilities of the Cadet NCO
                                                                        tradition that you have inherited.
         Though these positions differ in the type                     Be a good instructor – Learn and
of duties performed, they do require on your part                       practice the techniques of military
certain responsibilities. These responsibilities                        instruction. Assist, supervise, and correct
parallel those of the Marine NCO and are                                subordinates in matters of dress, conduct,
different only in degree and scope. By studying                         courtesy, and performance of duty.
these responsibilities, you will have the knowledge
to take on the duties of a noncommissioned                             Deal fairly and impartially with your
officer.                                                                subordinates – Be consistent. Don’t
                                                                        play favorites.
       Know your job – You should know your
        job and the job of the next higher grade.                      Be unselfish – Put the welfare of your
        You can do this by studying, observing,                         unit, your job, and the MCJROTC above
        asking questions, and talking with cadets                       personal interests.
        and instructors.
       Carry out assignments promptly –                    Conclusion
        When told to do something, do it. You
                                                                      Your responsibilities as a cadet NCO
        will be expected to carry out your duties
                                                            should not interfere with your educational
        with minimum supervision.
                                                            development. Getting a good education is still
       Use initiative and resourcefulness –                your primary goal. The lamp of learning insignia
        Don’t wait to be told to do things that             should remind you of your purpose. The
        you know must be done. Use your                     MCJROTC NCO ranks will give you the
        imagination; don’t be afraid of trying for          opportunity to gain leadership and management
        fear of failing.                                    experience that others in your school will not
       Keep your seniors informed – Always                 receive for several years. Pursue this advantage;
        make sure that your seniors know what               use it to excel as a student and as a citizen. 
        your are doing.


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