This was my first week at Sergeants Course. Sergeants Course is an eight week Course taught by experts of the fields to prepare Marine Sergeants for promotion and the responsibilities of a Staff N.C.O. The instruction covers writing paperwork, Combat, Drill, inspections, Leadership responsibilities etc… I know a lot of people avoid it or are nervous about going but if you prepare yourself there is nothing to worry about. The schedule is busy and demanding, but nothing you can’t handle. I like the challenge really though and it’s nice to work with other Marines again and especially motivated Marines. Hopefully some of my posts on here will help someone prepare for the course or help civilians manage stress in their own work enviroment.
We ran our PFT yesterday in the snow and 20 something degrees. 5 of my pullups weren’t counted because they said my right arm wasn’t fully locked on the way down and didn’t tell me until I was on 7 and they counted off “2” so I ended up with 13 but it’s not for score anyway. Other than that I don’t have any complaints. So far it’s been a lot of Field day (cleaning), Briefs, and classes. We started sword manual yesterday and it’s actually pretty fun. All of our teachers were prior drill instructors except one infantryman that will be going through Urban Combat training with us later. The infantry (GySgt) told me I seemed like a “pretty alright cat” when I checked in. He also told the MSgt “Top. I don’t drill, I kill” during sword manual. I think he will be fun to work with. My Class FA (Instructor) is one of the drill instructors from Texas that likes to call himself “#1 Stunner” and has “Heat” on his license plates.
We start Combat Conditioning and going at 100% speed this next week now that we are used to it. The Marine Corps is going to a new style of physical training where we get away from the run/pullup/crunches type stuff and get into dynamic warmup rather than stretching and functional movements and warrior training rather than a run. I like that a lot because that is what I always knew we needed and it seemed like I was listening to myself talk when our civilian ACE certified personal trainer (who is the designer for the Marine Corps’ Physical Training) was up in front of the class instructing. He mentioned Crossfit as well and that they have the right idea but a couple things he doesn’t like about them. I won’t have a whole lot of time to make posts on here during training but will fill in the blanks later on. These classes give me 7 college credits also added to the ones I already had.
I wanted to add some notes on stress management that might help someone out. For courses like this and units or details where I know they will be strict and I need to be locked and cocked, here are some simple things I do to relieve some stress…
- Do assignments and training on the night I am assigned rather than waiting. If you wait even when it’s not due you will more than likely have another one the next night and they pile up.
- Layout uniforms the night before including everything you need for that day (note taking gear, books, sword, pen, P.T. gear)
- Even if you aren’t in charge, know the responsibilities of leadership roles and pay attention to their jobs. (Do a head count on your own even when the squad leader is responsible for it. This will allow you to help him out, or know the answer if he doesn’t. I know there are 20 in my squad so a quick count keeps you informed.)
- When you are in charge of a squad, delegate responsibility to others. (For 20 marines, 5 fire team leaders with 4 marines each can be very helpful for accountability and accomplishing missions)
- Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and workout atleast 30 minutes three days a week. You will feel better, look better, lower stress and improve confidence. (You should be doing this anyway)
- Read the lesson the night before class, so that you won’t be playing catchup to what is being taught just like in college.
- I recommend you have all of your uniforms put together properly before going to make one less thing for you to have to do when you get there.
- Time management is KEY here. study for tests and practice and complete assignments early and always look ahead on the schedule.
If anyone has questions on Sergeants course or the things going on with Marine Corps P.T. or whatever feel free to leave a comment. I know a lot of people avoid going, but if you’re prepared there is nothing to worry about.