By YM/MSgt Tyson Henry East Valley (AZ) Having the honor to at- tend a National Leadership School (NLS) is a great privi- lege for any Young Marine. When I was selected for the Advanced Leadership School (ALS), I was both excited and nervous. I knew the expecta- tions would be very high and I wondered if I was capable of meeting the challenge. Before going to ALS, I thought I knew what leadership was,ALS con- firmed some of my thoughts but taught me so much more. The biggest thing I learned at ALS was about myself. The classes we took, the team-building we participated in and even just the one on one conversations gave me a chance to really look at who I am not only as a leader, but as a person. Knowing yourself is very important for a leader because if you don’t know who you are, how do you expect to lead others? I learned that leaders are not authoritative dictators but in- stead, leaders walk beside their teams and are mentors. Lead- ers know how to read their team and challenge them when the time is right to help them grow. Leaders always serve as the example and should be more than willing to get dirty and do the tough work right along with their team. I left ALS with new motivation. I am excited to implement the lesson and ideas we learned not only with my Unit but to assist any other Young Ma- rines I can to become the best they can be. The best experience I had at ALS was having the oppor- tunity to work with the Junior Leadership School Young Marines during week two. I was able to watch them challenge themselves and grow throughout the week. I was happy to be able to provide them with support when they needed it and to assist them in overcoming new tasks and challenges. I was very proud to watch them grow as leaders and graduate at the end of week, this truly was the best feeling ever! ALS was definitely one of the biggest challenges I have faced but I am definitely a better leader because I attended. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to participate in ALS and will take the lessons I learned and the friendships I made with me for a long time to come. I look forward to seeing the other NLS students at future Young Marines events in the near future. I Thought I Knew What Leadership Was...Then I Went to ALS! By YM/ MSgt Cameron Kendall Temecula Valley (CA) I was able to attend this year’s Advanced Leadership School with the assistance of the Young Marine Alumni Association SPACES Scholarship.This was my first (and last) National Lead- ership School. It is where the best of the best in our great program go to in order to make your experience as a Young Marine better. Getting there I really didn’t know what to expect, except that it was two weeks long.The first week, we learn and the second, we teach SLS and JLS students. Being at a leadership school for two weeks is a really hard thing to do, and you cannot do it alone. I was able to stay focused with my friends, the SlS students I helped, Mr. Huff’s speech- es, and of course Mr. Oliff’s Young Marine Alumni pro tips. On Wednesday of the second week I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to a JLS stu- dent when he was sick. After talking with YM/LCpl Win- go, it reminded me that all you need to do to make a Young Marines day and to teach them, is talk about how you grew in the program. With all the support from all the Staff and other ALS students I was able to complete my school and complete obstacles I never thought I could. With the support I was able go back to the obstacle course, increase my push up count, and get through the disappointment of not getting Top Ten.After four years in the Young Marines and going to National Navajo Code Talkers Day, Pearl Harbor Day, Orme Adventure, and many more activities, ALS is my favorite. Your learn so much, meet great people and push yourself farther than you be- lieve.If you have the time to do so,push yourself to go to ALS and make it the best time you can. We Go in Order to Make Our Great Program Even Greater YOUNG MARINES ESPRIT Online 17