OKINAWA, Japan – Four Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment graduated from the Marine Air Support Squadron 2 (MASS-2) command-sponsored corporals school at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma Sept. 3, 2021.
The three-week long United States Marine Corps Corporals School is designed to provide students the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful small-unit leaders.
“The school was a good experience,” said Spc. Ignacio Delgadillo, a wheeled vehicle mechanic with Echo Company, 1-1 ADA. “I doubted my ability to be a good leader, but the new knowledge provided by MASS-2 increased my confidence. I learned that leaders do not have to know everything; they only have to know where to find the answer. I left the school with an understanding that the military is a people-focused organization.”
Soldiers were selected to attend the school based off of their rank and Army education requirements.
"I selected specialists (E4) that have not attended the Basic Leaders Course," said Command Sgt. Maj. Daniel S. Venton, 1-1 ADA senior enlisted advisor. "I wanted to give our specialists a chance to see how another service conducts their noncommissioned officer education system.”
The school includes more than 130 hours of classroom instruction on topics such as Philosophy of Combat Conditioning, Foundations of Marine Corps Leadership, Tactical Communications, Irregular Warfare, Joint Operations, Professional Communications, and Career Progression. Students also participated in road marches, negotiated obstacle courses, conducted physical readiness mobility and recovery instruction, and attended a mess night.
“Soldiers gained significant knowledge about operating in a joint environment and the similarities and differences between the U.S. Army and Marine Corps,” said Spc. Robert Watt, a signal support specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, 1-1 ADA. “I learned a lot of valuable lessons from the Marines of MASS-2, and many of the lessons were applicable to the military and life in general. I think the most important lesson I learned was to always look after your teammates. No one is left behind or forgotten with them [Marines]. If one of them fails, they all fail.”
Fellow classmate, Spc. Uriel Trejo, a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear specialist with Echo Company, expressed similar sentiments.
“My experience with the Marines was very gratifying,” said Trejo. “I learned that NCOs, regardless of their branch, take care of their junior soldiers and develop them into better leaders than themselves.”
Soldiers also learned first-hand how the Marine Corps operates, and how they can fuse the best practices of the Marine Corps and Army to better their organizations.
“The Marine Corps Corporals School was a once-in-a-career type of opportunity, which makes this experience special,” said Spc. Jaden Kinney, a Patriot system repairer with Echo Company. “I believe that working and learning alongside the Marines taught us a new perspective on leadership. The Marine Corps operates a little differently than the Army, and the Army could benefit from implementing some of these differences, even at the lowest level. I think the objective of having Soldiers attend this school was to learn from our Marine counterparts and improve where we can.”