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The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band plays “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” during a colors ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., March 12. The ceremony honored friends of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing as a part of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Committed and Engaged Leadership Initiative.

Photo by Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner

3rd MAW sergeant leads ceremony to honor supporters

12 Mar 2014 | Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Third Marine Aircraft Wing hosted an evening colors ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., March 12.

The ceremony was held to commemorate the many supporters of 3rd MAW and MCAS Miramar in the community. Many representatives of supporting organizations attended the ceremony.

As part of the Committed and Engaged Leadership initiative, Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, commanding general of 3rd MAW, identifies a sergeant to take the role of reviewing officer for colors ceremonies and to demonstrate the abilities of the “VIP” of 3rd MAW, the noncommissioned officer.

The CEL initiative is a program designed to empower noncommissioned officers by encouraging them to stay committed to the Corps and engaged with each other.

Busby appoints a sergeant to assume the role of reviewing officer, which is usually granted to a senior officer. The reviewing officer commands the formation during the ceremony and also coordinates the entire event.

Sgt. Benjamin McNichol-Bernal, reviewing officer, and a musician with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band, stood before Marines and Sailors to lead the ceremony.

“Tonight we celebrated the friends of MCAS Miramar and the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing,” said McNichol-Bernal. “Our friends are all of the organizations that support what we do here and give back to the Marines.”

The ceremony was entirely NCO led and organized, and that is something to be proud of, added McNichol-Bernal.

“Through Maj. Gen. Busby’s Committed and Engaged Leadership program, he gives sergeants the opportunity to lead these ceremonies,” said McNichol-Bernal. “It’s an honor and it’s a privilege because if you go anywhere else in the Marine Corps sergeants don’t run things like this.”

McNichol-Bernal spoke to the crowd explaining the importance of the NCOs in the Marine Corps and how proud he is to be one of them. He expressed his thankfulness for the opportunity to lead a ceremony and hopes more NCOs in the future have the opportunity as well.