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

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Shannon Hyde, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews NCO in charge, speaks to Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians,  about the different tools they can use as physical training leaders during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Gunnery Sergeant Shannon Hyde, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews NCO in charge, speaks to Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, about the different tools they can use as physical training leaders during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, perform physical training during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, perform physical training during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Sergeant Daniel Bason, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations chief, teaches Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina, and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, Beretta M9 firing positions during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The Marines, along with the rest of the services, recently replaced their use of the .45 pistol with the Beretta M9. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Sergeant Daniel Bason, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations chief, teaches Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina, and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, Beretta M9 firing positions during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The Marines, along with the rest of the services, recently replaced their use of the .45 pistol with the Beretta M9. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Sergeant Daniel Bason, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations chief, refreshes Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina, and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, on how to field strip the Beretta M9 during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Sergeant Daniel Bason, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations chief, refreshes Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina, and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, on how to field strip the Beretta M9 during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Sergeant Daniel Bason, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations chief, refreshes Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, on how to field strip the M4 carbine rifle during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Sergeant Daniel Bason, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations chief, refreshes Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, on how to field strip the M4 carbine rifle during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Sergeant Daniel Bason, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations chief, shows Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, gas rings on the bolt for an M4 carbine rifle during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Sergeant Daniel Bason, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations chief, shows Lance Corporals Samael J. FanesteEspina and Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron Andrews operations technicians, gas rings on the bolt for an M4 carbine rifle during their Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Lance Cpl. Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron operations technician, field strips an M4 rifle during his Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

Marine Lance Cpl. Jean Baptiste Henry, Marine Transport Squadron operations technician, field strips an M4 rifle during his Lance Corporal’s Course here, Jan. 10. The course provides training in drill, Marine Corps history, codes of conduct, mentorship and many other classes geared toward improving the Marines before they take on the responsibility of becoming NCOs. (U.S. Air Force Photo/Senior Airman Perry Aston)

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. -- 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."