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Best in the West: Yuma Marine earns NCO of the quarter

By Lance Cpl. Laura Cardoso | | February 3, 2011

A Yuma Marine was recently named the Marine Corps Installations-West Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter, garnering a meritorious promotion to sergeant Feb. 2, 2011.

Sgt. Marcelino Mejia, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron administrative separations noncommissioned officer in charge, competed on a sergeant’s board last quarter and lost. The defeat motivated Mejia, 21, to go for it once more.

“In the Marine Corps, there is a lot of competition,” said Mejia. “You have to excel above everyone else or else you will never get anywhere.”

Born and raised in Delano, Calif., Mejia arrived to Yuma in 2009 and has worked toward setting an example for Marines.

Thus far, Mejia has completed 35 Marine Corps Institution courses, earned his brown belt instructor tab for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and volunteered in the local community.

He received his third expert rifle award, obtained two back-to-back perfect combat fitness test scores, as well as a 291 out of 300 on his physical fitness test.

Mejia was also a part of putting together a local football team, which many station Marines participate in, helped raise money for the Marine Corps ball, worked at the air show two years in a row and participated in the Marine Corps birthday pageant on station.

Mejia sees mentorship as one of the enjoyable and crucial aspects of his job in the Corps. Believing that one should emulate their leadership Mejia believes the example he set is going to help his junior Marines.

“Don’t ever stop,” said Mejia. “The moment you stop, you are settling for the bare minimum, and you are never going to excel past your potential. You have to keep pushing.”

Mejia’s Marines count working with him as one of their best experiences in the Corps.

“He really gets one-on-one with you,” said Lance Cpl. Michelle Rhea, H&HS personnel clerk. “He is one of those NCOs that really takes care of his Marines and pushes you to do your best in all aspects of your life.”

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