‘Willing to get your hands dirty’
Monday, April 15, 2013
When people in law enforcement for more than two decades finally reach the pinnacle of their chosen career, they often earn the right to delegate many workplace responsibilities.
But for Holts Summit Police Chief Kyle McIntyre, leadership lessons learned during his Marine Corps service have taught him that a true leader must be willing to perform the duties asked of their subordinates.
A native of Texas, McIntyre, 45, did not spend much time in self-reflection when making the decision to become a Marine.
In March 1985, during his senior year at North Mesquite High School, he signed his enlistment papers.
“I figured if you’re going to be part of something, you might as well be the best, which is why I joined the Marines,” McIntyre said.
The following year, he completed his 13 weeks of initial training in San Diego. As the veteran explained, he was guaranteed training as an aviation mechanic, but after failing the vision test, he was trained as a legal services specialist — a prospect he viewed as rather mundane.
During the training at Camp Pendleton, he learned the basics of serving as a legal secretary. He was then assigned to the 7th Marine Regiment (at Camp Pendleton) to assist a defense attorney.
“I spent the next two years volunteering for everything that I could just to get out of the office,” he mirthfully recalled. “It really wasn’t an exciting job.”
While in his first duty assignment, he became licensed in the operation of several types of military vehicles and participated in Kernel Blitz, an exercise off the coast of California that simulated an amphibious landing and assault under combat conditions.
In early 1988, he transferred to the Marine Justice Division and served as a prisoner escort, taking Marines held in a military detention facility to their court hearings. Later that year, he received orders for his first and only overseas assignment.
Arriving in Okinawa, Japan, in November 1988, McIntyre was assigned to the legal services support section and traveled with a military advisor who provided legal services to several Marine contingents.
“It was a fabulous location; I really enjoyed Okinawa,” McIntyre said. “While I was there, I learned to scuba dive and became certified as an instructor.”
In February 1990, with his enlistment completed, he was released from service while still in Okinawa. He remained in the country for a few months teaching scuba diving classes, but decided to return to the states later the same year.
After visiting a friend from the Marine Corps living in Jefferson City, McIntyre relocated to Mid-Missouri and went to work at the state penitentiary. However, in 1992, he moved to Texas after he was offered a job as a sheriff’s deputy.
He returned to Jefferson City in 1996 to accept a job with the Department of Corrections, also serving as a reserve deputy with Moniteau County Sheriff’s Department. In 1999, he was hired as a reserve deputy with the Holts Summit Police Department and became a full-time officer the following year.
Focused on learning all aspects of the operations associated with running a police department, McIntyre moved up through the department’s ranks eventually becoming the chief of police in 2009.
During his 21 years in law enforcement, McIntyre notes that he has seen many officers who demonstrate little motivation to move up the career ladder, but for him, the Marines instilled the drive to move forward.
Utilizing the tenets of self-discipline and motivation inspired through his service, the former Marine was also able to earn his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in 2008 from Colorado Technical University.
As the primary law enforcement official for Holts Summit, the veteran says he tries to set an example in the department by continuing to wear the same uniform as his officers and participating in many of the calls the department receives.
“In the Marines, I worked with an officer that taught me that to inspire others to do their jobs, you must first be willing to get your hands dirty and do the same tasks you are requiring of them.
“This is a very important lesson that I have taken from my time in service and applied in my everyday operations as police chief.”
Jeremy Amick is the public affairs officer for the Silver Star Families of America.
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