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Petty Officer 2nd Class Emily Riley, a corpsman with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 and a Dallas native, receives the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing’s Junior Sailor of the Quarter Award from Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, 3rd MAW commanding general, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Aug. 16. Riley is highlighted as one of 3rd MAW’s outstanding leaders as part of Busby’s Committed and Engaged Leadership campaign.

Photo by Cpl. Kevin Crist

Sailor inspires both on and off-duty

6 Sep 2013 | Cpl. Erica Kirsop 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

“Committed to what she does … a do-er instead of a say-er … engaged in not only the Navy side, but the Marine side of the house as well.”

These are the phrases that come to the minds of peers and superiors of Petty Officer 2nd Class Emily Riley, a corpsman with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 466 and a Dallas native.

Riley’s continual commitment to the training and development of fellow sailors alongside her volunteer efforts with the Single Marine Program recently earned her the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Junior Sailor of the Quarter award.

She spent hours studying for the board, but she said it was her leadership’s confidence in her that gave her an edge over the competition.

Riley is always striving to improve herself to be the best sailor possible, so she can pass on that knowledge to everyone around her.

“I see her with the junior guys showing them, ‘hey, this is how you do your inspections,’ or ‘this is how you check one of those forms for a physical,’” said Chief Leonard Ray, Marine Aircraft Group 16 medical senior enlisted advisor and a Longview, Texas native. “Training is a huge thing that we do and she’s taken it on, made it her own and set forth programs to help these guys advance.”

When not at work, this hard-charging sailor spends her time volunteering with the SMP and singing at local events.

The SMP elected Riley to the position of volunteer coordinator in April. After taking on the task of leadership in the workplace, she decided that she would take on the challenge in her free time as well.

“Riley’s commitment to the SMP is absolutely remarkable,” said Johanna Jones, the program’s coordinator. “On multiple occasions, she has worked during her personal time and adjusted her work schedule to find, coordinate and promote the Single Marine Program and its volunteer opportunities. We are grateful she has chosen to be part of the Single Marine Program.”

Riley also enjoys singing the national anthem at local events including graduations and retirement ceremonies both aboard the air station and in the surrounding community.

“I’m just really glad to have the opportunity to do it,” she said. “My sergeant major says, ‘oh, Doc, that was great!’ The [commanding general] has told me several times, ‘that might be the best singing of the national anthem I’ve ever heard!’ That’s really cool and I’d love to keep doing it, so if this is an opportunity to lead, then I’m going to take it.”

Her voice and dedication to her passion has also gained the attention of her chain of command and is another example of her well-rounded leadership style.

“Once you hear her voice you always kind of want to hear her sing again,” said Ray. “I was shocked the first time I heard her do it. For her to step out and put herself out there not only for these junior guys but for different people in the command is really something.”

Riley’s continuous endeavor to progress her abilities and that of those around her is yet another example of the commitment and dedication of the sailors and Marines aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

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