When it came to a meritorious promotion board, the third time was the charm for a military policeman with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable).
Sergeant Trevon Gray, a 21-year-old native of Newburgh, N.Y., and platoon sergeant with MEU Service Support Group 13, was recently meritoriously promoted from a 1st Force Service Support Group Meritorious Sergeant board.
He considers this a major accomplishment, because discipline is one of the main reasons he joined the Corps. His military career began with a meritorious promotion to Private First Class in boot camp and his discipline and dedication to duty continues with every passing day.
Sergeant Gray said he plans on continuing the trend of excellence in the Marine Corps by reenlisting and changing jobs by joining the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. This will help him when he eventually leaves the Corps to become an Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent.
Having been on two boards in the past ? Meritorious Corporal and Marine of the Quarter ? and missed winning by one place on each board, he was eager to break the streak with this test of leadership. In the Meritorious Sergeant Board, he placed second out of eleven Marines.
During the board, each candidate had to complete and excel in several events. They were inspected in their Service A and C uniforms, then graded on drill manual. Board members also judged how well the Marines gave a military class during the Technical Military Instruction portion of the board.
The last test, which Sergeant Gray considered the hardest, was the oral board. ?We had to walk into a room with perfect bearing and all of a sudden we were facing 10 sergeants major,? Sergeant Gray said. ?It was really an intimidating sight. Then we had to answer a question from each while being as professional and attentive as possible the whole time.?
Coming into the board, Sergeant Gray was the most qualified Marine from MSSG-13, said 1st Lt. Johnny Gutierrez, military police detachment commander. He is an expert rifle and pistol shooter and boasts a 283 score for the physical fitness test.
The board members also reviewed each Marine?s service record book, looking for clues into the leadership traits and principles each Marine possessed, such as:
§ Be technically and tactically proficient.
?Sergeant Gray always knows what needs to be done and almost never has to be told,? said Cpl. Bret Uhlig, a 22-year-old military policeman from Vernal, Utah. ?He may be told every once in a while, but it is usually not necessary.?
§ Know yourself and seek self-improvement.
?He is always trying hard to improve himself in every aspect,? 1st Lt. Gutierrez said. ?He is always asking questions and trying to learn more.?
§ Set the example.
?One of the best things about him is that he leads by example in so many different ways,? said LCpl. Jonathan Smith, a 25-year-old military policeman from Salem, Ore. ?For instance, he is always squared away. He is always coming into work with perfectly shined boots and ironed cammies. I can?t remember any time that I have seen him in a messy uniform or with a bad attitude.?
§ Train your Marines as a team.
?When we train as a platoon, no one is eliminated, especially any weak link,? LCpl. Smith said. ?He doesn?t train around them. Everyone is included, the whole team. He never plays favorites.?
§ Make sound and timely decisions.
?He ran the detachment while his staff sergeant and I were on the rifle range,? 1stLt. Gutierrez said. ?He went to all the meetings by himself and supervised loading our equipment on the ship. Each day when he checked in with me, everything was done exactly the way it should have been.?
§ Seek responsibility and take responsibility for your actions.
?He is not afraid to admit that he makes mistakes,? 1stLt. Gutierrez said. ?I also don?t have a problem with him repeating mistakes because he learns from them. He uses what he learns from past mistakes to do a better job.?
Fulfilling these and many other leadership traits and principles established by the Marine Corps, make him more than qualified to excel as a Sergeant and leader of Marines.