Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Marines stepping it up with Corporal’s Course on the USS Boxer

Story and photos by Lance Cpl. Megan Sindelar

About 30 Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Boxer spent the last month learning and improving the skills needed to become more efficient noncommissioned officers during Corporal’s Course; receiving their diplomas March 11.

The course is a little over three weeks long and the Marines were able to learn and succeed in the development of their leadership skills, said Staff Sgt. Oscar S. Ornelas, Corporal’s Course guest speaker and platoon sergeant with Company C, Battalion Landing Team 1/1, 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

“The instructors gave us the right information with the right instruction,” said Cpl. Robert L. Thatcher, honor-graduate of Corporal’s Course and squad leader with Company C, BLT 1/1, 13th MEU.

Marines received many classes over counseling, war gaming, hip-pocket training and leadership, just to name a few. They also practiced sword manual and trained in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program once to twice a week, with the last week training everyday, said Thatcher, a Huntington Beach, Calif. native.

Picking the guest speaker is something the students of Corporal’s Course enjoyed.

“We picked Staff Sgt. Ornelas because he made an impact,” said Thatcher.

Ornelas taught only one class, Marine Corps Customs and Courtesies, but the Marines took to his motivation and passion so well, they chose him as their guest speaker.

“I was very passionate and I meant everything I told them,” said Ornelas. “I motivated them and if something I say has an effect on an NCO and they learn something, that is great.”

The Marines, and now graduated members of Corporal’s Course, will be able to put their skills to use, said Thatcher.

Corporal’s Course gave these Marines the ability and knowledge needed to become first-class leaders; following and enforcing customs and courtesies of the traditional Marine Corps – the Marine Corps that has captured America’s hearts and minds for the past 233 years.


  1. My son was in this class, but I don't see him in the pictures posted! Rats! Is there any way to see if you there was a photo of him taken?

  2. Congratulations everyone! You all are awesome!

  3. Congratulations everyone! You all are awesome!