AL TAQADDUM, Iraq -- A Marine attached to the air boss section here was nominated and took top honors on the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) combat meritorious sergeant board, May 27.
Anthony Riley, air boss chief and St. Louis, Mo., native, was one of two Marines promoted to sergeant after the results were announced.
“In my 21 years in the Marine Corps, I never met a corporal with as much enthusiasm as Riley,” said Lt. Col. Allan Jarvis, Al Taqaddum air boss. He has had a great attitude since he got here and has gained everyone’s respect. I have complete trust in his ability to make the right decisions.”
Riley is an experienced Marine and has competed in 14 commendatory boards. He came out number one in eight of them. He has been promoted to his last three ranks through meritorious promotion boards and won many Marine and Noncommissioned Officer of the Quarter Boards during his time in the Marine Corps.
“I always knew that if I wanted to achieve my goal to be a sergeant within my first enlistment I would have to participate in boards,” said the 2001 Notre Dame High School graduate. “My seniors have always encouraged me to do them also. I’ve always had staff noncommissioned officers and officers who believed in me and knew I would do well.”
Riley was sent to compliment Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 2 from Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C., where he works as a micro/mini repair technician for circuit boards for F/A-18 Hornets.
Here, Riley is an air boss section chief. He helps the air boss coordinate flight operations from Al Taqaddum. He is constantly aware of any changes to operations throughout the region. If ground troops need air support or someone is injured on the battlefield, Riley must decide what type of aircraft needs to be sent out.
Riley joined the Marine Corps in 2001 and attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Upon graduation and initial job training in Pensacola and Mayport, Fla., Riley received orders to MALS-36 Okinawa, Japan, for one year.
“I enjoyed Okinawa a lot,” Riley said. “I made good friends and was able to experience different activities I never would have had the opportunity back home.”
After Okinawa, Riley was ordered to Beaufort in November 2003. While in Beaufort, Riley became a green belt instructor for the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
“Becoming an instructor was something I heard was a tough challenge,” the 22–year-old said. “After hearing how hard the course was, I had to prove to myself that I could do it.”
The Marine Corps has given Riley the discipline he needs to succeed.
“The Marine Corps has been great for me,” Riley said. “It has matured me. I have settled down and began taking college courses working, hopefully one day, to a career in medicine.”
Riley said another reason for his success in the Corps is the constant support from his family. From his year in Japan to his current tour in Iraq, Riley’s relatives have given him the support he needs to go the extra mile.
“I have an incredible family,” Riley said. “We are very close. My family is really into hanging out with each other.”
While Riley helps coordinate missions on the battlefield, he remains on top of things even when things get hectic. His professionalism and clear thinking are what make him a good NCO and is what will make him successful at whatever he tries in his life.
*For more information about this story please e-mail Cpl. Herron at email@example.com*