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Blacksheep Marine leads the herd, earns I MEF, 3rd MAW NCO of the quarter award

By Lance Cpl. Aaron Diamant | | September 16, 2010

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When you ask Sgt. Sheriff Showunmi what he did to earn the titles of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and 1st Marine Expeditionary Force noncommissioned officer of the quarter, he’ll tell you he just did the basics.

After looking at his accomplishments, it’s obvious Showunmi, Marine Attack Squadron 214 maintenance administration clerk, has very high standards for himself.

“His performance is top notch,” said Master Sgt. Mike Ewell, VMA-214 maintenance chief. “He’s very humble with his accomplishments, which, to me, is a sign of a good leader, a good NCO and the kind of NCO that you want to keep around.”

What Showunmi won’t tell you is what he considers to be the basics. He considers the basics to be pushing yourself further and harder.

“It comes from yourself. Nobody can make you a better Marine but yourself. Your career is in your hands. You have to want it,” said Showunmi, a 21-year-old native of Nigeria who immigrated to Old Bridge, N.J. at 9 years old.

Show, as he’s called around the squadron, maintains perfect a 300 physical fitness test and combat fitness test scores and is an expert rifleman. He’s also a green belt instructor in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, served on the honor guard and played on the All-Marine soccer team.

“When it comes to physical fitness, it’s self-pride,” explained Showunmi. “You have to want that, too. I’m going to be playing in the regional soccer tournament next week and try out for the All-Mairne team again.”

However, Showunmi’s stellar performance on the job only tells part of his story.

Off-duty, he reads books from the commandant’s reading list and is studying nursing.

“Anything good you do in the Marine Corps comes back to help you out in the long run,” said Showunmi. “A lot of Marines use working hours as an excuse to not improve themselves outside of the Marine Corps. It’s one more thing you have to want.”

Showunmi’s long-term goal is to become a Marine officer, and he is looking into the Marine enlisted commissioning education program. Several colleges have already shown interest in having him play soccer for them.

Having been in the Corps for just more than three years, Showunmi had some stiff competition at the squadron’s NCO of the quarter selection boards.

“It was challenging to prepare for the board. The people I was going up against were pretty good. I definitely had competition for the position,” said Showunmi.

After winning at the squadron level, he competed at the group, wing and MEF levels. He won them all.

“He’s an impressive young Marine that makes me feel confident the Corps is in good hands for at least the next decade or so,” said Sgt. Maj. Leonard Maldonado, VMA-214 sergeant major. “He operates without fanfare, and he’s the kind of Marine you want with you in a fight.”


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