Photo Information

Sgt. Nicholas Lang, a senior intelligence analyst with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and a Tacoma, Wash. native, bows his head during the invocation prior to the August evening colors ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug. 6. Lang orchestrated the ceremony for more than 2,000 viewers, demonstrating the leadership capabilities of a committed and engaged Marine noncommissioned officer.

Photo by Cpl. Melissa Wenger

Technical expert makes tactical leader: 3rd MAW sergeant leads from the front

29 Aug 2013 | Cpl. Melissa Wenger 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

“It’s more about treating everybody with respect and dignity, setting that example and leading … rather being the one who’s always out there with hands on his hips and yelling.”

Sgt.  Nicholas Lang, a senior intelligence analyst with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and a Tacoma, Wash. native, prides himself on understanding the proper mentorship style needed by each individual Marine in his charge.

He molds and guides Marines by treating them like adults so they can be given the opportunity to grow within the job and the Marine Corps, explained Lang.

“I like that he gives direction, but he’s not the type of [noncommissioned officer] to micromanage,” said Cpl. Angie Galvez, an intelligence specialist with 3rd MAW and a Miami native. “That lets me know he has faith in me, which makes me want to not mess up. I don’t [want to] take away the confidence he has in me.”

Lang knows learning and the continuous collection of knowledge is not just for the lower enlisted ranks. It’s essential to every position within the Marine Corps. In order to improve himself as both an NCO and an intelligence analyst, he continues to expand his knowledge with constant studying of the most up-to-date information.

According to Galvez, he demonstrates proficiency in his military occupational specialty by mastering each topic he comes across so he can answer the questions of his peers and subordinates.

In doing so, he has found that Marines are much more willing to approach him with questions. 

“Let’s say I have to look up a side topic; he’ll know so much about that topic that I’m like ‘how in the world does he know this much?’” said Galvez.  “Just because he’s the leader of that squad that takes care of things that are going on in the Middle East doesn’t mean he’s going to have tunnel-vision. He says, ‘okay, I’m going to look at everything going on around the world to make sure that I know everything.”

It’s that technical expertise that allows him to lead from the front, all the while mentoring his colleagues.

“Treating everybody with respect seems to be a good way to get people to do what you need them to do, especially when they see you there with them down in the weeds,” said Lang. “You get a lot of respect back from the Marines.”

Lang applied his immeasurable experience as an intelligence analyst to his position as the reviewing officer for the August evening colors ceremony aboard MCAS Miramar, during which he delivered a speech.

“Being an intelligence analyst, briefing is one of our primary duties,” said Lang. “Having had some of that practice before and knowing briefing skills helped out a lot with standing up in front of everybody.”

As one of only a few of 3rd MAW’s sergeants to take on the task, he smoothly coordinated and executed the colors ceremony for more than 2,000 people.

His commitment to training the future Corps and devotion to seek self improvement make Lang one of 3rd MAW’s paramount noncommissioned officers.

This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting the committed and engaged leaders of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.