What does leadership mean to you?

What does leadership mean to you?

U.S. Marine Corps Capt Eric Albright, executive officer of Recruiting Station Charleston, and Staff Sgt. Matthew Rogers, staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Sub-Station Huntington and a Trafford, Pa. native, discuss Marine Corps leadership traits during a class given to the Marshall University Women's Swim Team. Photo by Sgt Tyler Hlavac.

HUNTINGTON, W. Va. (Sept. 12, 2013) - When the Marshall University Women's Swim Team found themselves looking for guidance on leadership, they decided to look no further than the United States Marine Corps for inspiration.

On Sept. 11, the swim team staff invited the Marines onto the Marshall University Campus to give their student-athletes an in-depth class on Marine Corps leadership. The swim team coaches plan for this to be a monthly event for the swim team, according to head swimming coach Bill Tramel, who explained how the partnership with the Marines came about.

"The one thing we've been struggling with as a team here is our leadership….or lack of it. We didn't have much leadership at all outside of the coaching staff," said Tramel. "We looked at the Marine Corps leadership traits…and realized that they are something our young women need. So when Capt Albright was in the area and offered to help, we jumped on the chance."

The class was conducted by Capt Eric Albright, the executive officer of Recruiting Station Charleston; and SSgt Matthew Rogers, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of Recruiting Sub-Station Huntington.

The two Marines discussed the 14 traits of Marine Corps leadership, which include integrity, judgment, tact and more; relating them to situations the swimmers encountered while training or competing alongside their teammates.

The discussion was interactive between the Marines and swimmers with both Marine Corps and swimmer jargon peppering sentences. The students, somewhat intimidated by the Marines at first, eventually became comfortable and contributed more and more to each discussion, ensuring they took advantage of every second of class time with the Marines.

"The participation was awesome," said Rogers, who is a Trafford, Pa. native. "The way that they responded to the questions and took their own twist on it and applied it to their own trade showed they were taking something from the class."

Tiffany Aeling, a Marshall University swimmer, said the class touched on traits that would make her team better.

"I was really excited about the class today," said Aeling, who is a senior at Marshall University and a Columbus, Ohio native. "All of the leadership qualities…I feel like I had something to say about each one of them. And it was good for us as a team to see what we need to do, what we need to improve on and how we can grow as a team."

Marines.mil is the official website of the United States Marine Corps and is maintained by the Marine Corps' Division of Public Affairs.