What does it take to be considered one of the Marine Corps’ best? What must a Marine achieve to be recognized as a cut above the rest? The answer is simple: take a page from the book of Sgt. Maxmillion Page.
In the Search and Rescue hangar at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Aug. 2, then Cpl. Page received his sergeant chevrons and a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his success in earning the title of Marine Corps Installations-West non-commissioned officer of the quarter.
Page, 22, works as the Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron administration non-commissioned officer-in-charge, a sergeant’s billet Page held as a corporal for 16 months. While holding this billet, Page led his section through a commanding general’s inspection in November 2011, resulting in a flawless performance.
“The legal section was outstanding during the CGI,” said Staff Sgt. Wandy Rodriguezabreu, the H&HS administration chief, a native of Massachusetts and mentor to Page. “It was so good, then Cpl. Page received a certificate of commendation from the CG. You don’t see many corporals performing in the billet of a sergeant to that level.”
Page earned this recognition through his consistent superior performance in his work, in addition to holding a black belt in Marine Corps Martial Arts, a high first class Physical Fitness Test score and a high first class Combat Fitness Test score. He is also an expert pistol and rifle marksman, an avid volunteer for the youth sports teams of MCAS Yuma, a deck NCO for the barracks and president of the Single Marine Program for H&HS. He has far exceeded the military education requirements for his grade, and maintains 4.9 marks in both proficiency and conduct.
Outside his military duties, Page spends much of his free time during his first enlistment pursuing a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Northern Arizona University. Having never taken a college class before the joining the Corps, Page is one semester from finishing his degree in three short years, a feat that takes full-time students, who do not have the workload the Corps demands, a full four years.
While Page appears the ideal Marine on paper, his true strength lies in his leadership.
“He takes control,” said Lance Cpl. Jonathan Yepez, an H&HS admin clerk under Sgt. Page and a native of Dallas. “If something needs to get done, he takes authority, won’t take no for an answer, and handles it. He takes it a step above other NCOs.”
“I have been in the Marine Corps for 10 years, and he is the best NCO I have served with,” added Rodriguezabreu. “I can assign him any task and know it will get done. I told him when he went up for the board, ‘I am going to put you up for this meritorious board, but win or lose, you are already a sergeant to me.’”
Those who work with and around him have taken note of the genuine care he has for his fellow Marines.
“He’s a really good motivator,” said Lance Cpl. Gabriela Pasillas, an H&HS administration specialist, a native of Belvidere, Ill., and longtime friend to Page. “He’s constantly talking to me and other Marines about off-duty education and trying to influence us to make ourselves better.”
Though he thrives as a leader, Page would not be the same person without his passionate character to drive him.
“I take heart in whatever I do,” said Page. “I am extremely competitive. I have the drive in me to compete with that other Marine who is one point better than me. It’s not for bragging rights or because I’m cocky. It’s more that I believe being a Marine means being the best I can be in everything I do.”
“He’s a go-getter,” added Rodriguezabreu. “He is the kind of person who will always do the right thing, whether someone is looking or not. He is the kind of person who is always thinking about perfection. He constantly is asking about what he can do to make himself better, and sometimes it’s hard to find an answer. I can talk to you all day about Sgt. Page and still have good things to say.”
With all the extra work Page takes on, he spends most of his free time at the gym or studying, but he still finds time for his friends.
“When he’s outside of work he is relaxed, cool and collected,” said Yepez. “He doesn’t talk about work and he focuses on his friends.”
Page was born in Hong Kong while his father was stationed there as a captain in the Air Force. When Page was 13, his father passed away from cancer, so his family moved to Thousand Oaks, Calif. He grew up with a brother, who is a corporal in the Corps, a sister and their mother, who is a native of Hong Kong.
Page spent his last two years of high school playing football, basketball and soccer in a boarding school in Illinois before stumbling into a Marine Corps recruiter during his last week of school.
“(The recruiter) saved me,” said Page. “I never went above and beyond with my academics, the Marine Corps helped make me what I am today.”
Page graduated recruit training in 2009 in San Diego and arrived on MCAS Yuma on May 6, 2009.
As a lance corporal, he progressed from a legal clerk to legal chief and later, legal awards correspondence chief, as well as attending the Naval Justice School in 2010, before reaching his current position.
As his first enlistment draws to a close, Page is looking forward to a long future in the Marine Corps.
“I love the Marine Corps. Period,” said Page. “The Corps has opened my eyes and made me better as a person. I’ve gotten to do a lot of things I never would have had the chance to do otherwise.”
While the decision is still up in the air, Page is considering moving into either an intelligence field or an enlisted-to-officer program.
“I see a lot going for him,” said Pasillas. “I hope he stays in the Marine Corps. He has a lot of upward mobility, and I’m looking forward to what his future has in store.”
Through all Page has done to make himself stand above the crowd, he still remains humble in his success.
“Every Marine has it in them to be meritoriously promoted,” said Page. “Sadly, everyone isn’t recognized, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be selected.”