15th MEU News
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Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert A. Chute has had more than 16 years in the Corps to develop as a leader. His time in the infantry before crossing over to the warrant officer side of the Corps has played a role in developing himself as a leader. Chute, from Riverside, Calif., is the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense officer with the 15th MEU. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Staff Sgt. Miguel Carrasco/Released)

Photo by Staff Sgt. Miguel Carrasco

Leadership 101: Marine from Riverside, California

30 Jun 2014 | Staff Sgt. Miguel Carrasco

The Marine expeditionary unit represents everything the Marine Corps offers. 

The Marines that comprise the MEU are the first responders to crises around the world. The success is determined by young Marines dedicated to maintaining a force in readiness. However, this would not be possible without exceptional senior leadership at the MEU.

Chief Warrant Officer 3 Robert A. Chute has learned a lot about himself and leadership throughout his 16 years serving in the Marine Corps. He has made several deployments as both enlisted and a warrant officer; during this period he developed the skills needed to lead both enlisted and officers alike. Chute, from Riverside, Calif., the chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense officer for the 15th MEU, uses the tools he has learned in his career to lead and inspire his Marines.

In this interview, he shares how his leadership has developed and what it takes to be a good leader. 

Q: Why did you choose warrant officer route?

A: I wanted to do something in the Marine Corps other than being a grunt. I was ready to try something different in the Marine Corps, and the money helped too. 

Q: What was your enlisted career like?

A: I started out in the infantry as an [anti-tank missileman], then [light armored vehicle crewman] and once I picked up staff sergeant I was an [infantry unit leader]. I did a few at sea deployments and deployments to Ramadi, Iraq, with 5th Marine Regiment. I figure I can provide my experience to the command element of the MEU. 

Q: What is the biggest change from enlisted to warrant officer?

A: My role from enlisted to warrant officer changed significantly. The transition was good but weird at the same time. At first, the enlisted and officer Marines don’t know how to approach you as a warrant officer. It takes some time to get used to it. 

Q: What does it take to be a good leader in the Marine Corps?

A: I think that a good leader needs to be fair and open-minded. A leader cannot be scared to let the small unit leadership do its job. 

Q: What kind of leader do you consider yourself?

A: I feel as though I am fair, I like to let people do their job without stressing them out. I make sure they have everything they need to succeed and go from there. 

Q: As a leader, what do you expect from your Marines?

A: I expect them to know their job. I shouldn’t have to tell them how to do their job. I will guide them and steer them in the right direction, but I expect them to get the job done. 

Q: What’s one of the hardest challenges a leader faces?

A: I think the hardest challenge as a leader is making sure you make the right decision. Whether you are on the battlefield or away from danger, you don’t want to let your Marines down.
15th Marine Expeditionary Unit