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Photo Information

Cpl. Sonja Doss, 4th squad leader for Corporal’s Course class 537-15, answers a question during a career progression class during the Futenma Corporal’s Course, July 15, 2015, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan. This is the fifth course for the year. The class started July 13, 2015, and is scheduled to graduate July 31, 2015. Doss is from Kaufman, Texas.

Photo by Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio

Corporal’s Course enhances mission readiness aboard MCAS Futenma

15 Jul 2015 | Sgt. Antonio J. Rubio Marine Corps Air Station Futenma

According to Marine Corps University, the Corporals Leadership Program is designed to provide instruction for tasks developed in accordance with Marine Corps Order 1510.90 Individual Training Standard.

As well, all commands conducting a Corporal’s course program are requested to review the contents of the online curriculum, evaluate the performance of their graduates against field requirements and complete a course-statistics record.

Staff Sgt. Neil Foose Jr., deputy director of Corporal’s Course aboard Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, took the bull by the horns and revamped the course, improving the station’s mission readiness.

“I came over in the beginning of January, and realized that the course needed a complete overhaul,” said Foose, the ground and electronics maintenance chief with Marine Air Control Squadron 4, 1st Marine Wing Aircraft, III Marine Expeditionary Unit. “I updated the entire curriculum and identified shortfalls where I thought corporals could benefit a little bit more, such as the land navigation portion… which was pretty much nonexistent.”

Construction of land navigation took approximately 45 days with Foose gathering multiple permissions around the air station and Okinawa. Several entities required approval including the water, environmental and electric departments.

With new training grounds, Foose, from Rochester, New York, also implemented a culminating event where students broke down into squads and patrolled around the air station utilizing hand and arm signals. Foose said making this event a competition between the squads increases the drive to win, and helps students understand lessons taught during their operations and warfighting classes.

Cpl. Sonja Doss, 4th squad leader for class 537-15, said this course has an emphasis on leadership, allowing Marines “to be that individual leader,” whether in a garrison or combat atmosphere.

“This course has given me confidence… being a new noncommissioned officer,” said Doss from Kaufman, Texas. “All of the units with students in this course will receive better prepared NCOs with all of the good training we’re conducting here.”

Foose intentionally designed the physical training events in a unique fashion. His intent is to force students to develop a solution to a problem and formulate a plan of execution.

Foose volunteered to be the deputy director because he felt compelled to influence as many Marines as he could. His efforts spun the course around and gave Marines new insight to what makes a great leader.

“Staff Sergeant Foose is definitely a motivator,” said Doss. “Every time I see him, he always has something to say that will get me through the rest of the week. He knows so many individual Marines that he doesn’t even work with and goes out of his way to help them keep going. It’s super motivating and he’s definitely someone I can go to for anything.”


Motivation is just only one of the many aspects a leader needs to run a successful residential course. According to Foose, the key is to find instructors who want to be there and want to lead. Wanting to take those Marines, mold them and help develop them as individuals and leaders of Marines is what makes a successful class.

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