JBA Marines complete Lance Corporal's Course, excel as future leaders

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Lindsey A. Beadle
  • 11th Wing Public Affairs
As a military installation primarily made up of Air Force assets, the majority of missions coming out of Joint Base Andrews focus on its blue and white aircraft - to include Air Force One. However, unknown to the majority of personnel who live and work here, Andrews is also home to two U.S. Marine Corps squadrons.

One squadron, Marine Transport Squadron (VMR Squadron) Andrews, is home to the only two lance corporals stationed on Andrews. But, even though Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Baptiste Henry, both VMR Squadron operations technicians, might be the lowest ranking Marines here, nothing has stopped these two servicemen from doing the best job they can to prepare themselves for becoming NCOs.

Recently, FanesteEspina (or more affectionately known as "F-14" by his Marine counterparts) and Henry took their first steps to becoming NCOs when they completed a week-long Lance Corporal's Course here. The course, designed to equip the Marines with the best tools necessary in order to smoothly and effectively transition from subordinates to small unit leaders, was conducted from Jan. 9 through 13. The course included: intense daily morning and afternoon physical training, classroom discussions on leadership, mentorship and counseling, M9 Berretta weapons training and concluded with a trip to the Marine Corps Museum on Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Va.

"The Lance Corporal's Course is getting us ready to become NCOs," said FanesteEspina. "Before we become corporals, we need to get in that leader mindset of professionalism. The Lance Corporal's Course prepares us for that next step in our Marine Corps journey."

While the course itself is voluntary, both Henry and FanesteEspina eagerly undertook the course's demanding schedule and were keen to learn as much as they could during the week's lessons.

"This course is a good way for us to become more established before we become E-4s," said Henry. "The Lance Corporal's Course is demanding but I love being a Marine and learning all I can. I'm definitely making the most of this course."

By the courses end, both Marines were satisfied with their achievement of participating in and passing the Lance Corporal's Course. And, while attending the course did not guarantee that either Henry or FanesteEspina would be promoted to the rank of corporal, the two Marines felt the week's classes and training did offer them a huge leg up in their future Marine Corps endeavors.

"I'd recommend taking this course to any Marine," said FanesteEspina. "This course was an excellent refresher and definitely helped me stay focused on what I need to do to achieve my future goals in becoming a well-rounded NCO."