MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Marines search through a vault full of green metal and plastic parts appearing to belong to a mechanical beast in a science fiction movie. As this happens, Cpl. Megan L. Rayon, a radio operator with Communications Company, Headquarters Battalion, here, explains what it takes to grow as a Marine, a leader and a shop that is slated to deploy within a year.
The Johnstown, Pa., native, who has completed a deployment to Iraq already, believes she knows what Marines at Communications Company here must do to prepare for deployments.
Deployments can be a challenge for some Marines, Rayon explained. They get anxious when they think about it too much and this takes away from the training and preparation.
Gunnery Sgt. Amy A. Curran, an electronics keying materials system manager with Comm. Company, has been working with Rayon since June 2004, and said Rayon is a Marine who learns quickly, takes initiative, gets the job done and still maintains great personal bearing, professionalism and appearance at the work place.
“These are very important traits for all Marines to emulate in order to get the job done; no matter where they are in their Marine Corps career,” Curran said.
Curran described Rayon as being a good leader not just because she’s motivated, but because Rayon goes the extra mile to help her fellow Marines.
“Cpl. Rayon is very willing to share any information concerning work and to take time out of her day to help other Marines. She presents her ideas to junior Marines in ways that are easy for anybody to understand, even if they are not familiar with the material,” Curran explained.
Rayon’s leadership style and ability to work well with others in stressful situations is not just a result of her non-commissioned officer training but also because of time she spent in Iraq.
“After being in Iraq, I learned that it’s very important to know more skills than just what your Military Occupational Specialty requires of you,” Rayon said.
The black belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program she wears supports her statement – it represents the work she did while she was in Iraq.
“We all got pooled to do different work. Regardless of what your MOS was, you did other jobs,” Rayon said.
Rayon saw it all, from filling sand bags to helping run convoys.
“Sometimes you’ll be a grunt sometimes you’ll be artillery,” Rayon said smiling. For this reason, she said, cross training and expanding one’s knowledge of the Corps is so important.
“Before your deployment, you and your shop need to train each other and take in as much as you can. When it comes down to it, in Iraq, it’s all about how you and the people around you react to the situations you are being placed in,” said 22-year-old Rayon”
The key to getting the job done in Iraq is having confidence in your abilities and being able to gel with co-workers, she continued. The people you work with are all you have out there.
“When you are training before your deployment don’t be afraid to ask questions of your corporals and sergeants,” Rayon said. “They have been tasked with teaching and leading Marines and will make sure you are as prepared as you can be.”
As Marines busily worked in the vault where Rayon stood, she looked around at her junior Marines with satisfaction and the confidence that her Marines will be ready to deploy in the coming year.