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Enlisted Marines with pay grades of E-4 and E-5 are non-commissioned officers (NCOs)
Marine Corps Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) Ranks
(E-4 through E-5)
The Marine Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO), the Marine Corps ranks of Corporals and Sergeants, hold a special position in the Corps. NCOs are responsible for the lives of their men in or out of combat situations. These Marines are leaders of men and much more. They represent the unwavering traditions of duty and dedication to their assigned mission. The Marine Corps NCO creed is short and to the point::
I am an NCO, dedicated to training new Marines and influencing the old. I am forever conscious of each Marine under my charge, and by example will inspire him to the highest standards possible.
I will strive to be patient, understanding, just, and firm. I will commend the deserving and encourage the wayward.
I will never forget that I am responsible to my Commanding Officer for the morale, discipline, and efficiency of my men. Their performance will reflect an image of me.
Some of the specific NCO duties you will normally be expected to perform are:
Training subordinates in their MOS and basic military skills
Being accountable for the actions of their squad, section, or team
Enforcing the standards of military and physical appearance
Ensuring supervision, control, and discipline of subordinates
Assisting in personal and professional development of fellow Marines
Providing communication link between the individual Marine and the organization
Planning and conduct the routine and day-to-day unit operation within the policies established by your senior officers.
Maintaining appearance and condition of unit billeting spaces, facilities, and work areas
Maintaining serviceability, accountability, and readiness of assigned arms and equipment
Maintaining the established standards of professionalism and job performance for the Marines, the NCO's, the SNCO's and the Corps
Supporting, following, and implementing policy established by officers
Marine Corps E4 insignia Corporal (Cpl)
Corporal (E-4) is the most junior of the non-commissioned officer NCO ranks. However, that does not lessen the authority or responsibility the rank carries. Corporals are required to exercise an ever-increasing degree of maturity, leadership, and professionalism. To a large extent, accomplishment of the ultimate mission – success in battle – depends on the Cpl's development as a small unit leader and his or her professional abilities.
Moving up the Marine Corps Ranks: Corporal's demonstrate that they are worthy of being "NCOs." However to move up to Sergeant they must prove that they are capable of meeting the increased demands of the next higher grade by meeting both basic eligibility requirements and competing in a Marine Corps-wide Composite Score competition, intended to promote only the best qualified candidates.
Good Conduct Medal
Awarded for Exemplary behavior, efficiency, and fidelity in active Federal Military service.
The Good Conduct Medal is one of the oldest military awards of the United States Armed Forces. The U.S. Navy's variant of the Good Conduct Medal was established in 1869, the Marine Corps version in 1896, the Coast Guard version in 1923, the Army version in 1941, and the Air Force version in 1963; the Air Force Good Conduct Medal was discontinued from February 2006 to February 2009.
The Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal was established on 20 July 1896. The medal was originally a ribbon and medal suspended from a clasp bearing the words "U.S. Marine Corps". The clasp was eliminated after 1935 and the medal has remained unchanged in appearance since that time. Since its inception in 1896, the name of the recipient was engraved by hand on the reverse side of the medal until stamping the name on the medal began during World War II (numbered on the rim) and was done completely by 1951.
Prior to 10 December 1945, four years of honorable creditable enlisted service was required in the Marine Corps for award of the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal. After 10 December 1945, the required period of service was reduced to three years. Since that latter date, members of the Marine Corps must have three consecutive years of honorable and faithful service in order to be eligible for the medal.
In 1953, the Marine Corps adopted bronze and silver 3/16-inch service stars to denote additional awards of the Good Conduct Medal, replacing enlistment bars showing each honorable period of service.
An Overseas Service Ribbon is a service military award of the United States military which recognizes those service members who have performed military tours of duty outside the borders of the United States of America. There are different versions of the Overseas Service Ribbons for the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Coast Guard. U.S. Marines receive the Navy version of the Overseas Service Ribbon.
The Navy and Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon was first proposed in 1968, but not authorized until 17 September 1986. The ribbon is awarded to any member of the Navy or Marine Corps who completes one year of consecutive or cumulative duty at a permanent overseas duty station.
For members of the reserve components, the first award is authorized upon completion of either 30 consecutive or 45 cumulative days of overseas active duty for training. For subsequent awards, the criteria of award for reservists are the same as the active duty members criteria.
Honorable Discharge - discharge from military service with a favorable record
A military discharge is given when a member of the armed forces is released from his or her obligation to serve. Each country's military has different types of discharge. They are generally based on whether the person completed their training and then fully and satisfactorily completed their term of service or not. Other types of discharge are based on factors like the quality of the person's service; whether their service had to be ended prematurely due to humanitarian or medical reasons; whether the person had been found to have drug or alcohol dependency issues and whether they were complying with treatment and counseling; or whether the person had demerits or punishments for infractions or were convicted of any crimes. These factors affect whether they will be asked or allowed to reenlist and whether they qualify for special benefits after their discharge.