MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania – In a profession dominated by boisterous personalities, command presence and aggressive confidence, it’s hard to imagine a quiet and patient leader.
In a fast-paced and chaotic training environment, credit is not always given to the Marine who forms the ranks, defines the standard and presses forward with excellence and no complaint.
Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Glenn Schroeder, a rifleman with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, has been in the Marine Corps for less than two years. Those around him say that while his experiences have been limited, they already have shaped who he is as a both leader and a peer, instilling humble and introspective leadership traits that are hard to teach.
Marine Corps Sgt. Nicholas Zablonski, Schroeder’s squad leader, has been alongside Schroeder for the entirety of the deployment.
"His leadership styles are still developing into his own, but I would say knowing himself and always seeking self-improvement is a leadership style I have seen him develop more throughout this deployment than his peers,” the sergeant said.
Schroeder’s platoon leaders agree. Marine Corps Staff Sgt. David Dahl, first platoon commander, and Marine Corps Sgt. Donnell Watkins, Schroeder’s platoon sergeant, spoke about Schroeder’s self-discipline and his potential as a future leader.
“He doesn’t say much, but he is one of the hardest workers I have,” Dahl said. “He devotes his liberty time to physical training, which surpasses unit training in difficulty.”
Watkins cited Schroeder’s motivation, dependability and work ethic as a teammate within his fire team as examples of how he outperforms his peers and junior Marines. “He shows an extraordinary ability to be flexible working out of his military occupational specialty,” he said. “He demonstrates a strong desire to develop himself throughout this deployment.”
Watkins added that Schroeder usually is the first to volunteer for any tasks and never complains.
Schroeder said he simply tries to look at everything with a positive approach. “I try and look at things if I was a sergeant or a corporal,” he said. “Attention to detail is a big thing. It may seem insignificant, but normally there is a bigger picture that we don’t always see on [the junior Marine] level.”