Technical Expertise Helps Marine as Leader

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. – Sgt. Nicholas Lang, a senior intelligence analyst with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing here, prides himself on understanding the proper mentorship style he needs to use with each individual Marine in his charge.

“It’s more about treating everybody with respect and dignity, setting that example and leading … rather being the one who’s always out there with hands on his hips and yelling,” the Tacoma, Wash., native said.

Lang said he molds and guides Marines by treating them like adults so they can be given the opportunity to grow within the job and the Marine Corps.

“I like that he gives direction, but he’s not the type of [noncommissioned officer] to micromanage,” said Marine Corps Cpl. Angie Galvez, an intelligence specialist with 3rd MAW and a Miami native. “That lets me know he has faith in me, which makes me want to not mess up. I don’t [want to] take away the confidence he has in me.”

Lang said he knows the continuous collection of knowledge is essential not only for the lower enlisted ranks, but also for every position in the Marine Corps. To improve himself both as an NCO and as an intelligence analyst, he added, he continues to study the most up-to-date information about his specialty so he can answer the questions of his peers and subordinates.

“Let’s say I have to look up a side topic,” Galvez said. “He’ll know so much about that topic that I’m like, ‘How in the world does he know this much?’” Galvez said. “Just because he’s the leader of that squad that takes care of things that are going on in the Middle East doesn’t mean he’s going to have tunnel vision. He says, ‘OK, I’m going to look at everything going on around the world to make sure that I know [a bit of] everything.”

That technical expertise allows him to lead from the front, all the while mentoring his colleagues, Lang said.

“Treating everybody with respect seems to be a good way to get people to do what you need them to do, especially when they see you there with them down in the weeds,” he added. “You get a lot of respect back from the Marines.”

Lang gives briefings in the course of his duties, and used that experience as the reviewing officer for the August evening colors ceremony aboard here, delivering a speech.

“Knowing briefing skills helped out a lot with standing up in front of everybody,” he said.

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