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1st Sgt. Ryan Cantrell, Company B First Sergeant, Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School, leads the Marines on a hike in the Round Table Mentorship Program up Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., May 12, 2017. Round Table is a mentorship program created by MCCES to break down walls between leadership and junior Marines by encouraging open dialogue and develop professional relationships across the ranks. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Dave Flores)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Dave Flores

MCCES Mentorship Program steps off

12 May 2017 | Lance Cpl. Dave Flores Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Leadership with Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School built up morale and welfare with Marines from the Round Table mentorship program by hiking Ryan Mountain in Joshua Tree National Park, May 12, 2017.

Round Table is a mentorship program created by MCCES to break down walls between leadership and junior Marines by encouraging open dialogue and develop professional relationships across the ranks.

“We wanted to develop a mentorship program that will sustain their Marine Corps transformation,” said Sgt. Maj. Charles Wells, MCCES sergeant major. “Marines who are awaiting class are put in a platoon where the student to instructor ratio is about 300 to one. They become idle after months of rigorous training. We put these Marines in front of our best instructors, which incorporates everyone in the team earlier on in their career.”

According to Wells, male and females have two different mentorships groups male Marines participate in the Round Table and females Marine participate in the Lioness programs. While this event was only conducted by Round Table, the two groups are frequently combined together for many different activities and events.

Senior leadership with the Round Table, took the Marines to the national park to discuss key topics such as social media conduct, the Non-commissioned Officer’s Creed, ethics and morals.

Another initiative of the program is to educate Marines on the Corps in a more relaxed environment than what they experienced at the recruit depots and Marine Combat Training, while providing them the opportunity to sit down with their NCOs, ask questions and discuss day-to-day problems they might encounter.

“The mentorship program gives us a good chance to connect to NCOs and Staff NCOs and to understand what the Marine Corps means to them,” said Pvt. Kaleb Groves, student, MCCES. “I’d love to do more of these hikes; sitting down in front of the mentors shed a lot of light on subjects we have yet to learn about.”

According to Wells, since the inception of this mentorship program, morale and welfare have grown, resulting in less administrative drops as well as suicidal ideations and attempts. He hopes that these will continue to drop as the mentorship program will continue to positively impact the junior ranks.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms