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Enlisted Marines and Marine Officers

Sgt Michael Durkin: When you're on deployment, it's two guys inside of a fighting hole. It doesn't matter what rank you are, what billet you are. They're just there to watch each other's backs. They do what's necessary to accomplish the mission.

Capt George Flynn: It's not just a strict delineation of there's the officer and there's the enlisted Marines.

LtCol James McArthur: We conduct physical training together. We go to the same classes. We go on the same length of hikes. We deploy together.

LCpl Ryan Minden: The officers have the plan and they spread that down to the ranks of the enlisted and it eventually gets to my level where we get the job done. The officers, the really good ones work alongside you and I like having leadership like that.

1stLt Jennifer Dymicki: I have Marines that are specialized in what they do and they're the ones who teach me. Anywhere from a private up to a senior enlisted. They know what they're doing and I'm going to go to them and they're going to teach me.

SgtMaj Donald Williams: The senior enlisted is somebody who has come up through the ranks. He's been where they have been and he can provide that advice to the commanding officer that the officer may not have experienced in his career.

1stLt Bryan Coughlin: The biggest difference between enlisted and officer is the officer has the final decision on all commands.

Cpl Shane Otwell: The mutual relationship between a commissioned officer and enlisted is just the maturity and respect. The enlisted Marine knows the last and final decision made is going to be coming from that commissioned officer.

Capt George Flynn: It definitely weighs on you at times. A good term I've heard is it's the moral burden of command. If something bad happens to one of these Marines, I will take that as my responsibility.

1stLt Jason Anders: While ultimately officers make the final decision and they're responsible for what their platoon and their team does, a lot of the execution and the responsibility falls on the junior enlisted. A lot of people don't realize the amount of responsibility they actually take on.

LtCol James McArthur: Marine officers go to Officer Candidates School or the Naval Academy and enlisted Marines go to recruit training.

LtCol Bill Vivian: We have Enlisted Marines running the candidates through Officer Candidates School.

Capt George Flynn: I don't think there's a service that does it better in that regard. Where we can say all the officers that lead Marines were trained by the Marines that they're supposed to go out and lead.

Cpl Shane Otwell: The salute that's shared between commissioned officers and enlisted men in the Marine Corps shows a sign of respect. You respect that commissioned officer.

1stLt Ryan Akers: And when the officer returns that salute, he's rendering respect to the Enlisted Marine for their years of experience and their knowledge they've gained from doing everything in their job.

LtCol James McArthur: Officers don't look at themselves as being here and enlisted here. We're all the same. We're equal. That's very important that the young man or woman joining the Marine Corps understands that the individual that's leading them believes they are no better or no worse.