PHILIPPINE SEA – Cpl. Benjamin Tibbetts, from Redmond, Wash., a cyber network operator assigned to Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/5, was ceremoniously promoted to Sergeant in the well deck of amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), Feb. 7.
During the ceremony, Tibbetts received his Sergeant pins from Chief Warrant Officer Daryle B. Howard, native of San Diego, Calif., the Combat Cargo officer aboard Bonhomme Richard.
“A Sergeant is the highest ranking Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) in the Marines,” said Howard. “They are the bridge between the Marines under their charge and Senior NCOs and Officers. Sergeants are expected to mentor and train the corporals under their supervision. I expect Sgt. Tibbetts to step out, lead from the front and ensure all of his Marines are trained and ready for whatever mission is placed in front of them.”
Howard explained that it is rare for a Chief Warrant Officer to pin his Marines, because very few Chief Warrant Officers are assigned platoon commander billets. Traditionally, the honor falls to commanders and officers in charge to promote a Marine. This opportunity to lead the promotion filled him with nostalgia, he said.
“Pinning Sgt. Tibbetts reminded me of when I was pinned Sergeant way back in 2004,” said Howard. “I like the fact that the Marine Corps makes all newly promoted NCOs recite the NCO Creed in front of the formation. I think this helps ‘drive home’ what is expected of them now that they have earned the right to wear the next rank.”
Tibbetts served in the Marine Corps for three and a half years. He said he believes these years have prepared him for the responsibilities expected of Marine Corps Sergeants.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Tibbetts as he addressed his fellow Marines attending the ceremony. “I was a Corporal for 23 months and I’ve been waiting for this for a while. I’m glad to have finally received it. I feel like it came at a time when I was ready to lead.”
As a junior Marine who has been under the supervision of Tibbetts since June 2016, Lance Cpl. Bryan Jenshak, from Bloomington, Ind., also a cyber network operator assigned to the BLT 2/5, expressed his enthusiasm for his newly promoted leader.
“Sgt. Tibbetts is a great, great role model,” said Jenshak. “He is someone I can go to for advice. I’ve learned a lot from him. He has taught me to have respect for our senior leadership and taught me to have more confidence in my abilities. I was happy for him during the ceremony. He deserved it.”
For junior Marines aspiring to lead alongside Tibbetts as a Sergeant, he offered his advice.
“Listen to your Corporals,” said Tibbetts. “Once you learn to follow directions, you will learn to be a good leader. Leadership comes with experience. Don’t rush it. Learn from your mentors and superiors.”
Howard also offered some words of wisdom to Tibbetts about his new position, which stands true in any military branch.
“If you take care of your Marines, they will take care of you,” said Howard. “It’s no longer about how well you perform, you are now also judged based on the performance of your Marines.”