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New Brigade Commander Focused on Empowering Midshipmen

Posted on: September 10, 2013 08:00 EDT by MC2 Alexia Riveracorrea

Midshipman 1st Class Jean Luc Currie is the fall semester brigade commander, chosen after a rigorous selection process by senior Naval Academy leaders to lead 4,500 of his peers as the highest-ranking midshipmen.

Currie, from Mobile, Ala., hadn’t intended to apply for the position.

 “When my company officer approached me about going for brigade commander, I automatically said no,” said Currie. “For the past three years I was only involved with my company, and that’s all I wanted to do.”

Currie wanted to be his company’s commander, but his company officer, Marine Capt. William Woodward, persisted in encouraging him to apply for the brigade commander position.

It is the job of the company officer and senior enlisted leader to “create opportunities for midshipmen to grow,” said Woodward. “Had he stayed at the company level, we would've missed an opportunity to allow him to reach his full potential.”

“He saw the potential I couldn’t see,” said Currie.

Executing the commandant’s policy – to be excellent to the academy, yourself and your shipmates – is Currie’s highest priority as brigade commander.

“I am always looking for ways to improve,” said Currie, who believes leading by example is important. “To me, that’s the only type of leadership, and it’s closely related to personal responsibility.”

Currie also wants to continue to support squad leaders and youngsters.

“As the backbone of the brigade, squad leaders need our focus and attention. We must empower and equip them with what they need, giving them practical advice on training,” said Currie. “I want to reach out to youngsters as well by getting them more engaged and involved in what’s going on at the academy.”

Currie believes communication and camaraderie should be enhanced within the brigade.

“In a lot of ways we gloss over the idea of midshipmen getting involved in one another lives, caring and looking out for each other,” said Currie. “I believe in going beyond strict duty and reaching out to a shipmate to improve relationships.”

Currie said his experiences at the Naval Academy have helped him broaden his mind.

“The academy has helped me expand my thinking,” said Currie. “Now I am capable of seeing things from several different perspectives and not just mine.”

His favorite part of being a brigade commander is being able to interact with midshipmen.

“I enjoy talking to the mids, hearing the awesome things they do and how they succeed and just being there for them,” said Currie.

Currie is a systems engineering major and wants to attend graduate school after graduation. First class midshipmen will receive their service assignments later this semester. Currie hopes to serve as a Marine intel officer.

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