Making a Marine: St. Louis breaking ground when it comes to Mari - KMOV.com

Making a Marine: St. Louis breaking ground when it comes to Marine leadership

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Major Nicole Bastian is the first female in charge of the region covering Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas. (Credit: KMOV) Major Nicole Bastian is the first female in charge of the region covering Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas. (Credit: KMOV)

This week News 4 is taking you inside Marine Corps boot camp. We've shown St. Louis educators going through training and how drill instructors transform young men into marines.

Wednesday, Benton Blandin shows us how St. Louis is breaking ground when it comes to leadership.

SAN DIEGO (KMOV.com) -- For more than 240 years, Marines have served the United States in the air, on land and sea.

Known as Devil Dogs, Marines have led the way from start to finish.

"I haven't been bored yet,” said Major Nicole Bastian.

Bastian has been at it 14 years. She's the commanding officer for recruiting station st. Louis.

"I never planned on staying in more than one tour. I was gonna get that Marine Corps experience, satisfy the drive that has been pushing me to do more with my life, and get out ."


Making a Marine: Meet the men who turn recruits into the Few and the Proud


News 4 watched her take charge during an educator's workshop in California with St. Louis area teachers.

Bastian is the first female in charge of the region covering Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas.

"It's just a privilege. It's a privilege to command,” she said. “It's an opportunity for me to lead Marines. I am fortunate to have it."

Second Lieutenant Emma Thompson, who's just starting her path of leadership in the Corps, knows Bastian’s place in history. But she says being a Marine goes beyond gender.

"At the end of the day, I am a Marine. I am not a female and my counterparts are not male Marines,’’

Thompson said. “We are Marines."

The Corps has tested Bastian over the years. It's also stretched her comfort zone. Yet, she still finds a way to keep the drive.


Making a Marine: St. Louis educators get an in-depth look at boot camp


"It's helping bring the best out of the Marines in your charge. Helping them grow and get out of the comfort zone and rise to greater heights," she explained. "Those little moments you realize you have really changed someone's life, or inspired them to get to their best potential, keep you going."

She knows there is no perfect way to do that, but she's found her way.

"It's knowing your marines first and foremost. Knowing what their struggles are and needs are and knowing each Marine requires to be led," she said.

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