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Marine Corps Recruits Learn Importance of Mentorship
by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Walter D. Marino II - October 1, 2014

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Charlie Company recruits learned the importance of mentorship in the Marine Corps and the assistance it gives toward a young Marine's professional development in the Corps.

Recruits of Company C took advantage of such advice during a mentorship class at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., Sept. 1, 2014.

First Sergeant Cristopher Demosthenous, company first sergeant, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, engages recruits during a mentorship class at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., Sept. 1, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Walter D. Marino II)
First Sergeant Cristopher Demosthenous, company first sergeant, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, engages recruits during a mentorship class at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., Sept. 1, 2014. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Walter D. Marino II)

Prior to recruit training, many recruits relied on family members or coaches to act as mentors, but in the class they learned in the Marine Corps it can be beneficial to have more than one mentor, specifically one that is of equal or higher rank.

First Sergeant Cristopher Demosthenous, company first sergeant, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, said he has three mentors, his father and two fellow first sergeants.

Demosthenous explained mentors play a crucial role for young Marines new to the Fleet Marine Force.

While speaking to the recruits in the class, Demosthenous asked them what they thought was the first think young Marines do when they get to their first duty station.

“Buy a car,” replied the recruits in unison.

Demosthenous explained often times young Marines buy cars they cannot afford, and situations such as this can be avoided by good mentorship.

The questions continued as Demosthenous asked the recruits to tell him who their mentors were and how they impacted their lives.

One recruit immediately stood up and told a story of how his recruiter mentored him when he was having problems with his mother.

Many recruits appeared to take the class to heart as they continued to respond with stories of their mentors.

“My mentor was my martial arts instructor who led me by example,” said Recruit Benjamin P. Landers, Platoon 1045. “It wasn't so much what he said, but what he did. He was really relaxed and modest even though his skills were dangerous.”

Lander's mentor was not just a martial arts instructor, but also a retired Marine who encouraged his decision to join the Corps.

The Rolla, Mo., native, explained his desire to join the Marines was cemented by his admiration of his mentor.

At the end of the class, it appeared all the recruits were inspired to either be or find a mentor after becoming Marines.

“I want to find a Marine mentor who has good experience in my job field to help me learn fast and learn to do things the right way,” said Recruit Stanly D. Compton, Platoon 1045. “A good mentor can take you far.”

By U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Walter D. Marino II
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
Copyright 2014

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