• Students of the corporals course class 604-13 stand during their graduation ceremony at Joe Rosenthal Theater on the Henderson Hall portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, April 26, 2013. U.S. Marine First Sgt. Christopher Lillie was the guest speaker during the event.

    Corporal's course graduation on Henderson Hall

    Students of the corporals course class 604-13 stand during their graduation ceremony at Joe Rosenthal Theater on the Henderson Hall portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, April 26, 2013. U.S. Marine First Sgt. Christopher Lillie was the guest...

  • Students of the corporals course class 604-13 stand in a receiving line after their graduation ceremony at Joe Rosenthal Theater on the Henderson Hall portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall April 26, 2013. U.S. Marine First Sgt. Christopher Lillie was the guest speaker during the event.

    Corporal's course graduation on Henderson Hall

    Students of the corporals course class 604-13 stand in a receiving line after their graduation ceremony at Joe Rosenthal Theater on the Henderson Hall portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall April 26, 2013. U.S. Marine First Sgt. Christopher Lillie...

JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - A dozen men and women who will lead, mold and mentor tomorrow's Marines graduated April 25 from the corporals course during a ceremony at the Joe Rosenthal Theater on the Henderson Hall portion of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall.

"You twelve Marines that are about to walk across this stage are the next generation of leaders that tomorrow's Marines will follow without question, without hesitation, to fight battles and win wars, forever securing the America that we so proudly defend," keynote speaker 1st Sgt. Christopher Lillie, company first sergeant, Headquarters Company, Headquarters and Service Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps Henderson Hall said.

The 12-week course is taught throughout the year by members of H&S Battalion's S-3 section, and its goal is to provide the Marine corporal with the education and leadership skills necessary to lead Marines. Lillie, an Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran, said the program emphasizes leadership foundations and a working knowledge of general military subjects.

"This course is not designed to make you an expert in combat operations, weapons handling, tactics or land nav[igation]," continued Lillie. "It's a familiarization, and as you continue to progress through levels of professional military education, you will become that expert."

Lillie said the bottom line for the graduates is a simple one: "NCO's [noncommissioned officers] lead. They're brave, courageous and talented. This is a skill that's taught, not learned."

Pointing to several Marine corporals like Charles G. Abrell, Louis J. Haute, and Dakota Myer who have been awarded the Medal of Honor for their acts of courage and heroism while under fire, Lillie told the group that he wanted the Marines who serve under them to reap the benefits of the class.

"I want you to return back to your sections and use not what was taught, but what you learned, what you gained and what you experienced," he said.

During the ceremony, Cpl. Hector Aguilar, Consolidated Administration, H&S Battalion, HQMC, was presented with a plaque, certificate of achievement from the Marine Corps Association and a copy of the "Handbook for Marine NCOs" for being the class honor graduate. Aguilar completed the 12-week course with a final grade point average of 98.2.

"It was really unexpected," the Show Low, Ariz. native said. "I took it to heart, especially when it came to the classes about mentoring and leading my Marines."

Lance Cpl. Luke Anderson was selected by his peers to receive the gung-ho award as the student who showed the most motivation, inspirational leadership and gung-ho attitude.

Other graduates include Cpl. Henry Bedord, Intelligence Department, H & S Battalion, HQMC; Cpl. Yvonise Belizaire, DMO, H & S Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Fort Belvoir; Cpl. Jeremy Blassingame, Office of the Judge Advocate General, H & S Battalion, HQMC, Navy Yard; Cpl. Brandon Diaz-DeLeon, Supply, H & S Battalion, HQMC; Cpl. Madison Full, Marine Corps Embassy Security Group, Quantico; Cpl. Marcelo Saldivar-Ortiz, Marine security guard, Quantico; Cpl. Jorge Soriano, CONAD, H& S Battalion, HQMC; and Cpl. Michael Wagner, Intelligence Department, H& S Battalion, HQMC.

Page last updated Fri May 3rd, 2013 at 00:00