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Sgt. Matthew Weiss, center left, colors sergeant with Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373 and a Broken Arrow, Okla., native, stands with the color guard in San Diego during a Veterans Day ceremony. Weiss mentors the Marines of the color guard as well as Marines throughout his unit.

Photo by Courtesy Asset

Leader prepares junior Marines to take his place

21 Feb 2014 | Cpl. Melissa Eschenbrenner

Many leaders can take charge of a situation and complete the task without a hitch, but not every leader is depended on by more people than just those he leads.

Sgt. Matthew Weiss, noncommissioned officer in charge of operations, Marine Wing Support Squadron (MWSS) 373 and a Broken Arrow, Okla., native, is one sergeant who is reliable to many people throughout the squadron.
Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, commanding general of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, initiated Committed and Engaged Leadership to recognize powerful NCOs such as Weiss. Committed and Engaged Leadership is a way to empower Marines of all ranks to be committed to the Corps and engaged with each other.

Weiss dedicates his time to form the future leaders of the Corps by spreading his knowledge about his job, personal life and the Marine Corps.

“Seeing those lance corporals and corporals come up through the ranks, they’re going to want to step into my shoes one day and that’s really the goal,” said Weiss. “We need to build future leaders to come and fill the shoes of myself and other sergeants as we leave.”

Weiss works selflessly to make sure Marines can learn and grow in all facets of the Marine Corps.

“I put on my uniform and show up to work every day to work for the Marines,” said Weiss. “I feel like some leaders work for [recognition] and the needs of the Marines take the back seat.”

Weiss, who is constantly involved with organizing and planning events for his squadron, also coordinates the unit’s color guard. He has prepared fundraising events such as golf tournaments to help raise money for the squadron’s Marine Corps birthday ball and helps plan squadron physical training events.

“Sgt. Weiss has been with this shop for more than two years,” said 1st Lt. Astrid Lloret, officer in charge of operation of MWSS-373 and a Bowie, Md., native. “He is very knowledgeable and works well above his rank. He does a lot more than what is asked of him.”

Lloret also explained that he is caring, honest and fair with his junior Marines and they are never hesitant to ask him for help when needed.

“[The Marines on the color guard] talk about everything,” said Weiss. “When they come to me like that it makes me feel like I’m doing something right. It makes it something more than just carrying a flag or marching around.”
Weiss transfers skills he’s learned from the color guard, such as attention to detail, to help his Marines grow their own leadership styles.

“Any time you interact with Marines you have the opportunity to make a positive impact, and I think that’s important,” he said. “The Marine Corps is big on leadership. If you can engage yourself with them, you can teach them about anything.”

He hopes to serve as a drill instructor in the future. Weiss strives to leave a lasting impression on the Marines he mentors for years to come.

3rd Marine Aircraft Wing