“If your presence truly mattered…if you inspired in such a profound way as to not require your physical presence, then your absence matters not; for your ‘presence’ is eternal.”
~ Kevin J. Carleo
Gunnery Sergeant Rosabal,
I cannot put into words how proud I am of you today. Today, August 2, 2021 – you were appointed a Gunnery Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps. It has been a long time coming, although you and I both knew this day would come even over a decade ago – it was MEANT to be.
Although our plans for me to be there to “pin you on” did not come to fruition, we both know the universe has a better plan, a greater plan…we are not meant to question nor understand it! How else can we explain the strange, almost impossible turn of events? We can simply explain it by acknowledging the higher power, and our never-ceasing faith in the unseen. Regardless of my presence – today you were appointed a Marine Gunnery Sergeant.
Look at your new rank insignia. No really LOOK at it. That rank insignia represents entry into an elite group of Marines – Marine Gunnery Sergeants. Take great pride in your achievement, remain forever humbled by the Corps faith in your potential, and remember these things:
- Your sphere of influence has increased tremendously with this appointment. Make use of your expansive new sphere of influence to add value to EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE, EVERY SINGLE TIME.
- The truly enlightened leader needs not a flimsy piece of metal or plastic on his or her collar, nor a piece of cloth on her or his shoulder. The enlightened leader can be FELT. Without uttering a single word or glance; all those in his or her presence will simply know.
- Your Promotion Warrant is an invaluable tool should you become unsure of your responsibilities as a leader. I encourage you to read it daily or when required, and ask yourself…what did I do today to “…carefully and diligently discharge the duties of the grade to which appointed…“
- Your promotion warrant is not worth the paper it was printed on if it is not displayed in a place of reverence. DISPLAY IT PROUDLY!
- Our SNCO Creed is another priceless tool should you find yourself “stuck”. I encourage you to read it daily or when required, and ask yourself “What have I done today, or what will I do TODAY to live up to this creed?” You owe this to yourself and those under your charge. Do not forget the NCO Creed as well, so that you may hold your NCOs accountable for living up to THEIR creed.
- Never forget your leadership traits (characteristics) and principles (actions). Remember the traits are the qualities of personality that are of the greatest assistance in obtaining confidence, respect, obedience, and steadfast loyalty and cooperation. Further, when employing your leadership principles your technique should be fluid and must always be consistent with the situation. The ultimate goal is for your technique to contribute towards accomplishing, or accomplish, one or both of the objectives of Marine Corps leadership.
- See your “subordinates”, peers and “seniors” alike as members of your team, and NEVER belittle. Each member of your team is an invaluable resource – a piece of the puzzle – in the pursuit of mission accomplishment. KNOW YOUR MARINES well enough to assign them tasks they are capable of, but CHALLENGE them daily. Your subordinates, peers, and seniors will look to you for guidance, inspiration, and a cool head when things have gone amiss. Be the beacon of light that they flock to in those troubling times.
- Only delegate to EMPOWER, not merely to avoid any certain task. Delegate to those that you have trained and prepared in the carrying out of the assigned task. This will, in turn, boost the individual’s confidence and provide you an inventory of your team’s skillsets.
- Never forget where you came from…you were once a Private, too.
- Last but certainly not least and above all else, MISSION FIRST. YOUR MARINES – ALWAYS. That goes for Private through 4-star General. A truly enlightened leader NEVER stops learning and will take advice/console from a Private or General should the situation warrant it.
The price of greatness is responsibility.
~ Winston Churchill
With sincere appreciation and utmost reverence,
your friend and FELLOW Gunnery Sergeant;