- In order to be considered, a Sergeant must meet certain requirements. He must have requested to be considered, and he must possess qualities of leadership that tend to elicit from subordinates unquestioned cooperation and obedience under any circumstances. Additionally, he must possess sufficient training in all administrative, technical and tactical matters in a unit, and must possess initiative, judgment and dignity. A candidate must exhibit a strong ability to read and interpret regulations, verbally and in writing, and must exhibit exemplary military appearance and discipline. Finally, he must have completed a career course, have the ability to lead squad groups of Marines and have completed a "B" tour billet.
- A Sergeant Major acts as the senior enlisted Marine in the units of battalion, squadron or higher echelon. As the commander's senior enlisted officer, the Sergeant Major must handle all matters of discipline and morale amongst the enlisted Marines. The Sergeant Major must communicate all regular activities to all levels of the unit, working in harmony with officers, noncommissioned officers and civilians. The Sergeant Major must maintain a comprehensive level of understanding of all Marine organizations, procedures, ongoing missions and the relationships between all levels of officers and organizations.
Responsibilities to the Commander
- As the principal enlisted assistant to the commander, the Sergeant Major must remain apprised of all the commander's policies, procedures and schedule. The Sergeant Major reports all matters to the commander relative to the efficient operation of the command and assists the commander in keeping officer hours. At the commander's request, the Sergeant Major is available for any and all events, whether regulatory, ceremonial or social. The Sergeant Major guarantees the commander's administrational staff and office run according to the commander's needs. Within the unit or battalion, he acts as the commander's eyes and ears relative to duty and morale.
Responsibilities to Subordinates
- The Sergeant Major, as the top-level enlisted officer in a battalion or unit, must represent the enlisted to the commander. The Sergeant Major must adequately and regularly disseminate the appropriate information from command to the members of the unit. The Sergeant Major counsels subordinate noncommissioned officers as necessary to maintain the general effectiveness of the command. Any professional and personal matters that may affect the efficiency of the command must be handled by the Sergeant Major either directly or through chain of command.