Photo Information

Sgt. Daniel D. Gresser stands at attention in front of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training commanding officer, Lt. Col. Paul M. Melchior, and CNATT Sgt. Maj. M. E. Sprague to receive the Navy and Marine Association Leadership Award in the CNATT graduation room Aug. 27. Gresser is an aviation ordnance instructor at CNATT.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Bolken

Marine leads by example

2 Sep 2010 | Lance Cpl. Tyler J. Bolken

The Navy and Marine Association paid tribute to Cherry Point’s Sgt. Daniel D. Gresser with its 2010 leadership award, which was presented to him at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training here Aug. 27.

Gresser, an aviation ordnance instructor at CNATT was nominated for the award by his previous unit in Yuma, Ariz., where he demonstrated proficiency outside his Marine occupational specialty and held a staff noncommissioned officer billet during an eight-month-long deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.

“For the reasons Gresser won this award, we wanted to bring him to the school house,” said Master Sgt. Timothy J. Thorn, the ordnance staff noncommissioned officer in charge at CNATT. “He always sets the example.”

Gresser and Thorn have worked together off and on for the past eight years, and Thorn said that Gresser has been outstanding since they met.

“He just has a natural leadership aura about him,” Thorn said.

Gresser added he tries to lead based off what he’s experienced, referencing the phrase, “encouraging the wayward,” from the Marine Corps noncommissioned officer creed.

“I’ve made mistakes, but I came back from them, and I think that’s what makes me a effective leader,” Gresser explained. “ I am able to pass on knowledge to junior Marines.”

Gresser is excited to have a part in training the Marines at CNATT, and Thorn added that the students are already taking notice.

“He’s like a magnet because of the way he carries himself, the way he talks and the way he takes care of things,” Thorn said. “You can tell the juniour Marines try to emulate him.”

Gresser stresses the importance of leading, even if the message only gets through to a couple Marines.

“You never know who they’re going to influence down the road,” said Gresser. “When I have Marines come up to me and tell me they wouldn’t be where they are today if it wasn’t for me, it’s the best feeling for me, knowing I had an impact."

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point