The backbone of our reputation as Marines is our character. As an organization we are known for our combat prowess. We embrace violence and live for confrontation. But this does not set us apart. Many organizations, now and throughout history, are known for their tenacity and martial spirit. What sets the Marine Corps apart, what ensures that we will never be reviled or thought of as a bunch of thugs with guns, is our character. We do the right thing not as a matter of legality, but because of our deep sense of moral responsibility. We empathize with our fellow man and we do not compromise our humanity in accomplishing our objectives. Embedding this sense of self begins in our basic training and is reinforced by our fellow Marines and mentors throughout our careers and beyond. Marine Staff Noncommissioned Officers are integral in this process. These are leaders that have lived and breathed the Corps for many years and their actions shape the expectations of all: junior Marines, senior Marines, and civilians. A competent Staff Noncommissioned Officer lives the example. He seeks out new challenges and hungers for new experiences. His intellectual curiosity knows no bounds. Most of all, a Staff Noncommissioned Officer wants to share this passion for the Corps and her mission with others. A Staff Noncommissioned Officer wants everyone to hold the Marine Corps in the highest regard. He believes that his every action must increase the reputation of the Corps as an ethical force in readiness.
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