MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. --
Yuma Marines earned recognition from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Commanding General and Sergeant Major in a ceremony aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., May 6.
Maj. Gen. Steven Busby, the 3rd MAW commanding general, promoted Lance Cpl. Jamie Rinehart for her outstanding leadership initiative, and also presented a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal to Gunnery Sgt. Elba Montalvo. With Montalvo’s help, Rinehart orchestrated a large drinking and driving presentation for the Marines of Marine Aircraft Group 13.
Montalvo, a company first sergeant with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 and Roselle, N.J., native, and Rinehart worked together to organize the emergency response personnel, wrecked vehicles, character actors, makeup, costumes and even a memorial service at the station chapel. The presentation demonstrated what a DUI accident can look like, including Marines dressed to appear deceased and injured, police arresting the driver and emergency medical technicians attempting to save the injured Marines.
“I just assisted and supervised,” said Montalvo. “Most of the work was her [Rinehart].”
Although the effort to orchestrate the training was monumental, neither Marine knew they would be awarded at the formation.
“You’re out of uniform, you know that don’t you?” asked Busby, who then turned to the squadron. “This is not a lance corporal; this is a corporal of Marines.”
Rinehart, a field wireman with Marine Wing Support Squadron 371 and a Canyon Lake, Calif., native, furrowed her brow in confusion when the general announced that she wasn’t in the appropriate uniform, but was all smiles when she realized she was about to become a noncommissioned officer.
Having seen a similar presentation in high school, Rinehart decided to pitch the idea to her command.
“I went into it thinking I was like an ant to a giant, but I was a voice for people who don’t have a voice,” said Rinehart. “When [Maj. Gen. Busby] was talking and said he wanted a different approach, I thought that this is what affected me in high school.”
Busby explained that Rinehart’s initiative was indicative of a committed and engaged leader.
“Keep doing what you’re doing,” said Busby. “What you did last week was extraordinary, but what you do every day is even more extraordinary than that.”
The committed and engaged leadership initiative is an effort to empower noncommissioned officers to take a more involved role in the leadership process. Busby hopes that increased involvement by the noncommissioned officer corps will help stem the most serious issues facing the Marine Corps today.