CAMP PENDLETON — Often referred to as the backbone of the U.S. military, noncommissioned officers play a pivotal role in the daily workings and mechanics of military life.
The Noncommissioned Officers Association was established in 1960 to enhance and maintain the quality of life for noncommissioned and petty officers in all branches of the Armed Forces, National Guard and Reserves.
The NCOA boasts more than 100 chapters worldwide, with groups existing almost any place where American service members are stationed.
Pendleton-based Marines recently established a new NCOA chapter here last year to cultivate relationships among NCOs and interact with the local community.
“Our goal is to promote bridging the gap between the junior and senior enlisted Marines,” said Cpl. Stephanie Rogers, an administrative clerk with Bravo Company Office, Headquarters & Support Battalion, and vice-president of the Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton NCOA chapter here. “This chapter is a mentorship driven association that aims to change the way NCOs conduct day-to-day business.”
The Pendleton chapter has already begun making its mark on both the local and military community through volunteer events and speaking engagements.
“We’re starting out full force so we can set a high standard for those that wish to join later on down the road,” said Rogers.
“We go from unit to unit, reaching out to newly promoted Marines and sharing insight with those about to become NCOs. We also talk to those about to ship off to boot camp about what they can expect once they reach the fleet.”
In the long run, the members of NCOA hope to provide a motivating, positive atmosphere to challenge negative thinking among troops and become a constant in their local community, said Rogers.
“As NCOs, participating is this program is about serving our nation, our Corps and our community,” said Staff Sgt. David Vogt, command services and military justice chief with the MCB Camp Pendleton Office of the Staff Judge Advocate, and founding member of the Pendleton NCOA.
“There is an unspoken reward that accompanies the knowledge that the time you volunteer, no matter how small, has impacted lives in a positive way,” said Vogt.
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