Sergeant Jeffrey Xochicale is the Non Commissioned Officer of the Year for 2020 for Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California.
Xochicale is assigned to S-4 Supply as a Disposition Liaison, but he has been the barracks manager since he arrived at MCLBB. He is in charge of the old and new barracks as well as the geographical bachelor housing.
“I check in and check out Marines,” Xochicale said. “I make sure they have an assigned room. I also make sure they are living in a safe and hygienic way. I make sure maintenance requests are put in so they can be performed quickly.”
The sergeant is no stranger to recognition for doing his job because he was the NCO of the Quarter for 2019.
He said he joined the Marines in August of 2014 to get away from his neighborhood in his native downtown Los Angeles.
“I wasn’t running away but I didn’t want to stay there the rest of my life,” Xochicale said. “Gangs are prevalent around there. I was lucky enough to never get involved with them. I was also lucky enough to have family members who counselled me.”
The view the public has of the Marine Corps was the same one Xochicale held before he joined.
“The only concept civilians have of the Marines is boot camp, so I thought it was going to be that way all the time. But that changed over the years once you get promoted and get more responsibilities,” he said.
He was deployed for two years to Camp (Sgt. Elbert L.) Kinser, Okinawa, Japan, with the 3rd Supply Battalion, which was his first time away from his family, and he got homesick.
“I would call my family once a week, but after a while, the Marines give you a sense of belonging and basically become a second family to you,” Xochicale said.
Xochicale was also deployed to Australia for six months from October 2016 to April 2017 with the Marine Rotational Force-Darwin, as the NCOIC of a warehouse with four Marines under his supervision.
“I participated in the Ground Equipment Stage Program, they call it GESP,” he said.
“We supported the maintenance Marines by ordering Class IX repair parts so they could fix tactical vehicles so when the new rotation came in for training they could perform their operations.”
As an NCO, Xochicale has younger Marines under his supervision for whom he provides guidance and counselling.
“The biggest challenge to being a supervisor of young Marines is setting an example for them. Sometimes I just want to relax, but there’s people who look up to you and if you don’t set a good example then it’s almost like failing them,” he said.
Talking the talk and walking the walk is a guiding tenet in Xochicale’s career.
“When I tell a Marine to do something I try and think if that’s something I’m doing, like going to school. I am in school now trying to get a degree in business management,” he explained. “That way I can answer questions the Marine may have about their educational future.”
He said the Marine Corps has shaped his life in a positive way.
“I think the Marine Corps is good for a lot of people who have no sense of order or organization in their lives, especially if they come from a chaotic background,” Xochicale said.