Leadership lessons from Virginia to Oklahoma

Post by Tawny Crone, program coordinator at the Collins College of Business

Earlier this past spring, I was approached by TU’s Oklahoma Marine Corps Recruiter, Gunnery Sergeant Matthew Henson. Mr. Henson explained that educators and college staff have a unique opportunity to connect with students about careers in the U.S. Armed Forces. He specifically told me about the Marine Corps Recruiting Command’s Educators and Key Leaders Workshop.

I was thrilled to accept the invitation and attend the workshop in Quantico, Virginia this June. I honestly didn’t know what I was in for. I was excited to learn more about this honorable organization and how our students could benefit.

The workshop taught me about leadership traits and career opportunities the Marine Corps offers specifically for officer commissioning programs. Attendees saw the Marine officer lifestyle and the types of training prospects go through to increase physical, moral and intellectual capabilities. This training is designed to benefit Marines, so they are prepared for any climate they find themselves in during service.

Student Veteran

I was able to see just how Marine Officers are trained and participated in some of the same leadership tests. During the week, myself and 35 other university educators took part in a Leadership Reaction Course, a Convoy Simulator and an Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer at The Basic School. We also toured many restricted areas within the base including the Marine Helicopter Squadron One (HMX-1) where Marine One is kept under tight security. We had the privilege of taking an orientation flight in a USMC MV-22 Osprey Helicopter. That is an experience I will never forget! Our last day included a Patrol & Combat Life Saver class and a tour of the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

I’m so honored to have had this opportunity. It’s empowered me to share with our students the valuable leadership knowledge and skills they can develop in the Marine Corps whether they serve four or 40 years. It also gave me a connection point with our current student veterans. Learning more about military service in general exposed me to the commitment of men and women who are both defenders and respected citizens of our great nation.

To all our student veterans, I thank you for your service.