MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – As an Eagle Scout from
nine to 18 years old, he developed the skills necessary to take
charge and command others. It was here that he first learned what it
took to be a leader.
Major Eric J. Taylor, logistics
officer, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, from La Habra Heights,
Calif., has gone from leading fellow scouts on wilderness adventures
during his high school summers in the Hukum Valley Scout Reservation
in Big Bear, Calif., to planning logistics in support of major
operations on a global stage.
Lieutenant Gen. John A. Toolan,
commanding general, I Marine Expeditionary Force, presented Taylor
with The Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award for 2012 in
front of his Marines and peers during an award ceremony aboard Camp
Pendleton, Calif., Nov. 19, 2013.
Lieutenant Gen. John A. Toolan, right, commanding general, I
Marine Expeditionary Force, presents Maj. Eric J. Taylor, logistics
officer, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, with The Navy and Marine
Association Leadership Award for 2012 during an award ceremony
aboard Camp Pendleton, CA on Nov. 19, 2013. The award recognizes
Marines for leadership in their organization and is voted on by
their peers. Taylor, 35, is from La Habra Heights, Calif. (U.S.
Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos)
“It's come as such a huge surprise to me,” Taylor said.
“It feels great to be recognized by my peers, but really
this is a reflection of all of my Marines' hard work and
Taylor was recognized by his peers for
his outstanding demonstration of team building skills and
overall leadership in his service.
“The Navy and
Marine Corps Association [award] is a well-deserved honor
for him,” said Lt. Col. John R. O'Neal, commanding officer,
15th MEU. “[Taylor's] performance has been superb. He
provides an outstanding example for our leaders, at all
levels, and I was thrilled we were able to recognize him
with such a prestigious award.”
Taylor's ability to
make those around him exceed and strengthen their leadership
skills earned him the nickname “The People's Captain.”
Those who have worked for him before attest to his
reputation that inspired the nickname.
“He looks at
you as a person and not just as a Marine,” said Sgt. Chester
P. Ginter, motor transportation mechanic, 15th MEU. “He
makes you feel valued to whatever project you're working on.
He's given me an ideal to strive for.”
Taylor, in his
modesty, attributes his success to the professional
warfighters around him.
“It's funny to hear that, but
at the same time it's endearing,” Taylor said. “Having
Marines who know what they are doing and are reliable makes
it a lot easier to get the job done.”
Taylor looks to
build on this achievement and use his leadership skills to
help the 15th MEU succeed during Exercise Iron Fist, a
bilateral exercise designed to improve interoperability with
the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force, which is slated to
begin in January 2014.
“Adding all the different
units from around the [Marine Expeditionary Force] along
with the international units makes for a realistic training
opportunity,” Taylor said. “It's a good practice because as
a young leader you're going to feel the stressors of
multiple people relying on you to accomplish your mission.
It's going to prepare you for when you head out on that next
Over the years, Taylor has developed a
recipe for leading his Marines to success. That recipe
focuses on surrounding himself with winners.
put a team together to accomplish a mission, rank and age
are not important to me,” Taylor said. “I like to seek out
Marines that are willing to do things on their own and
generate their own enthusiasm.”
From there Taylor
learns the needs and characteristics of his Marines to give
them everything they need to accomplish the mission.
“The best attribute a leader must have is caring,” Taylor
said. “Even if you're not the best at what you do, as long
as you care and you put forth the effort by making the team
your own you're going to succeed. Making those involved feel
invested is the most important thing you can do as a
Although the Marine Corps motto is “Semper
Fidelis,” Taylor will never forget the first motto he took
as an Eagle Scout, “Be Prepared,” which led him on the path
By USMC Cpl. Emmanuel Ramos
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