Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point -- The commanding officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point recently initiated the Commander's Reading Program for H&HS Marines to build their analytical and critical thinking skills.
Lt. Col. Jeremy L. Gettings, commanding officer of H&HS, created a program inspired by the commandant's mission of empowering the Corps' noncommissioned officers using the Commandant's Professional Reading List for education and instilling leadership traits and principles.
"The Marine Corps Association has a program where commands can receive up to $1,000 worth of books from the Commandant's Professional Reading List,” said Gettings. "Because of the size of our squadron we were able to receive the full amount for free."
The squadron received four full sets of the Commandant's Professional Reading List for ranks private through sergeant.
"The reason I requested four sets of the reading list is because our squadron is spread across the station," said Gettings. "We strategically placed the libraries throughout the squadron so the Marines could have the books on hand."
The different H&HS sections that received a library included air traffic control, Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting, ordnance and the command headquarters.
"The goal of this program is to help (junior Marines) and NCOs develop their critical thinking skills," said Gettings. "I want my NCOs to have the tools they need to lead Marines."
Having a reading program allows the commanding officer to engage one-on-one with his NCOs, he said.
"I plan to assign sample readings from different books throughout my tenure," Gettings said. "This will include guided discussions with the NCOs of the squadron focusing on different topics from the readings. This will also be an opportunity for the Marines to address their concerns directly to the commanding officer."
The books are accessible and free, according the Cpl. Heather A. Moore, an administrative clerk with H&HS. Marines simply must sign a logbook to check a book out and return it in good condition, said Moore.
"All you need to do is sign out the book with your name and the date you take the book, along with the return date once you finish," said Moore, a native of Peru, Ind. "The books in the station headquarters are located just outside the commanding officer's office."
Reading selections from the Commandants' Professional Reading List help junior Marines and NCOs better understand the history and values of the Corps, according to Moore.
"The reading program can give Marines a better perspective on where we get our history," said Moore.