MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- Whether on the job, volunteering with those less fortunate than himself, or offering a shining example of leadership for his Marines to follow, a sergeant with Marine Air Control Group (MACG) 38 finds time to do it all.
Sgt. Alan Hill, manpower and personnel chief with MACG-38, stands as a fine example of what it means to be a committed and engaged leader within the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. The 28-year-old Sacramento native is the acting color sergeant for the group, a father, mentor and volunteer with the San Diego Food Bank.
“He’s always been a great leader,” said Sgt. Michelle Berglin, administrative noncommissioned officer in charge with MACG-38. “As a [noncommissioned officer] I’ve always gone to him with questions about how I should handle certain things as a corporal, or how I should mentor my Marines. He’s the same person in and out of work; he’s always taking care of the junior Marines, always going out of his way to work out with some of the younger Marines who might need his help. He always cares.”
His expertise in his work makes him a mentor for junior Marines in and out of his work section – even if they work in a different section of the administrative staff.
“He’s the go-to guy for [administrative] and manpower services,” said Berglin. “He’s the kind of know-it-all you want on your side because he can get you out of a fix and back on track shortly.”
When Hill is not working to complete his own mission, or helping others solve their issues, he leads the unit’s color guard in practices and ceremonies. Although Hill handles many responsibilities, he takes charge of the situation and ensures completion of all tasks.
“I don’t have to worry about him having his work done when he goes out for a detail, or goes home for the day – he has it done,” said Gunnery Sgt. Marco Anguiano, administrative chief with the group. “I’ve worked with him since October of last year and it’s been a pleasant experience working with him. I know if he’s got something, he’s getting it done and I wish I had 10 more like him.”
Hill pays homage to his parents and his upbringing for why he is the way he is.
“Growing up, my parents kept me engaged,” said Hill. “I went to the Boys and Girls Club at school, was in the Navy Sea Cadet program for 10 years, and volunteered when I was younger as well. That followed me into my Marine Corps career.”
As a result of his own experiences, Hill is a firm believer in giving back, and he’s been doing so since February when he returned from deployment.
“By no means am I rich, or the highest ranking paid individual out there,” explained Hill. “But if you have something, you should be able to give something else back to those less fortunate than yourself. What I can give is my time and my services to help [those in need].”
Hill also tries to keep himself mentally in check when things get rough and passes his advice to others who might need it by saying, “whenever you think you might have it bad, somebody else probably has it worse.”
“Never take life, or anything else, for granted,” said Hill. “You never know – if you thought it was bad for you now, you could be the gentleman or lady standing outside on the streets holding up a sign asking for food or for money.”
Hill doesn’t volunteer for the glory, or for the hours toward some award – he does it for the difference it can make in someone else’s life.
“To see the smiles on someone’s face and to know that they appreciate you being there for them makes you feel good inside,” said Hill. “It’s knowing that you are making a difference, no matter how small you might think it is, in someone else’s life. That is a big plus in my book.”
As Hill begins to transition out of the Marine Corps and into the community, his peers express their feelings at his absence from the work place.
“When he leaves, the Marine Corps is going to be missing something special,” said Berglin.