MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
First introduced to leadership positions in the Boy Scouts, Sgt. Ryan Tugas traded in his merit badges for an opportunity to earn his Eagle, Globe and Anchor in 2013. On Feb. 2, Tugas was meritoriously promoted to sergeant by the senior leadership of Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 28 and recognized as a Marine who goes above and beyond the call of duty.
As an assistant motor transport operations chief for MTACS-28, Marine Air Control Group 28, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Tugas attributes his rise through the noncommissioned officer ranks as a testament to his time as a Boy Scout.
“I am a better Marine because I was a Boy Scout,” said Tugas. “Being a Boy Scout does get brought up and some people think it’s cheesy and whatnot, but I believe if you take it seriously enough, it teaches you some good lessons.”
The leadership lessons Tugas learned were exhibited during his daily duties and gained the attention of Marines all around him.
“Tugas' personal drive and superb attention to detail has enabled him to attain a high level of technical proficiency while serving as a motor transport operator,” said 1st Lt. Ryan Zimmerman, a logistics officer with MTACS-28. “His leadership is often throughout the entire [logistics] section as he does not hesitate to jump in and help where ever he is able.”
Attempting to influence as many people as possible, Tugas starts each day instilling a mindset of leadership into his Marines with an idea he received from a leadership book “Good leaders ask great questions,” by John Maxwell.
“I will write something on the whiteboard, usually either a leadership quote or a question in the morning,” said Tugas. “At the end of the day or the next morning I’ll gather everyone for a minute or two to discuss and talk about it. I’ll ask them what do they think it means, what does it mean to you, how can you use this to become a better leader?”
One of the Marines who read the words on the white board every day is fellow motor transport operator and friend, Cpl. Ayman Khan. Khan has known Tugas for more than two years while assigned to MTACS-28.
“About two or three months ago he got back from [his time in the Fleet Assistant Program] from the [rifle] range,” said Khan. “I work upstairs with the senior leadership and would constantly hear how good of a job Tugas does. The range personnel stated they wished they could have kept him because he extremely dependable.”
Tugas extends his dependability outside of the Marine Corps. During his off time, he volunteered 30 hours of his time over a period of a few months to Roger Bell Elementary School by tutoring and reading to students.
“I always volunteered when I was in high school while in the [Reserve Officer Training Corps],” said Tugas. “I just want to help out where I can.”
From helping a fellow Marine earn their driver’s license to initially achieving a 91 on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery test and choosing to become a motor transport operator, this Boy Scout has earned his honor, courage and commitment badge time and time again.
“At 22 years old, how many other opportunities would someone my age usually have for a meaningful, lasting impact on people’s lives?” said Tugas. “I’ve been given the opportunity to guide, mentor and nurture them to be better people… better Marines.”