CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- Promotion to Non-Commissioned Officer has always been viewed as an important milestone in a Marine’s career. Expectations change from striving for excellence in individual work to leading Marines with firmness, fairness and dignity; many of whom days prior were peers rather than subordinates.
Battalion Landing Team 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, ensures their Marines understand that the promotion to Corporal is more than just another pay raise. The unit has added two unique elements to the Marine Corps’ traditional promotion ceremony in order to highlight the importance of the transition.
The ceremony begins as every promotion does, with Marines marching to the front of the formation to report to the commanding officer and be viewed by all in attendance. To reinforce the responsibility of the new rank, the NCO’s Creed is read, which states the role of NCO leadership, and a 1-inch red stripe is draped over the necks of the new NCO’s. Dating back to 1849, the NCO’s and officers have worn this stripe on the outer edge of their trousers. When the creed is finished, the Marine’s mentors remove the rank of Lance Corporal and promote the Marine to Corporal.