News: 22nd MEU NCOs take leadership reins
Story by Cpl. Justin M. Martinez
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – Sgt. Maj. of the Marine Corps Carlton W. Kent once said, while visiting Marines in Helmand province, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, "[Non-commissioned officers], you truly are the backbone of our Marine Corps. Without you, we could not make things happen. You always get the job done."
Several non-commissioned officers with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit Command Element conducted training on tactical command operations center set up aboard Camp Lejeune, N.C., July 23, 2010.
Once Marines and sailors hit the deck during an operation or exercise, they have nearly two dozen different sized tents to erect in a timely manner, which include the COC and its operational segments.
“These Marines need to understand that this is more than just a tent,” said Sgt. Jorge L. Rivero, the 22nd MEU police sergeant and Miami native. “A ‘Tent City’ can be formed as the forward command for the MEU to command and control subordinate units. These tents are an important part in a field environment.”
Many NCOs are expected to leave the unit over the next several months, and they felt now was a good opportunity to share knowledge gained from their MEU experience, added Rivero.
Even though the MEU returned from a humanitarian assistance operation in Haiti almost four months ago, the small unit leadership has taken the reins to ensure operational success.
“A lot of these Marines are straight out of [Marine Combat Training],” said Rivero. “The more time you spend teaching your junior Marines, the less you need to worry if they’re operating in a timely and efficient manner.”
The experienced NCOs made the most of the two-hour PME and led an in-depth, hands-on COC exercise for the unit’s new Marines on field tent setup in order for Marines to practice assembly and disassembly of the structures to prepare them for pre-deployment training.
“PMEs are important for NCOs to give to junior Marines,” said Sgt. Timothy J. Wagner, a force protection advisor with the 22nd MEU and Bellville, Ohio, native. “The knowledge that we’ve learned throughout the years being with the MEU is incomparable, and now I can carry on the traditions of the Marine Corps.”
Wagner also added that Marines have the ability to conduct PMEs whenever time permits, and it’s an excellent way to carry on career experiences from unit to unit.
The NCOs used this hands-on training event as an opportunity to start the crawl, walk, run approach to challenge the junior Marines mentally and physically before the rigorous pre-deployment exercises begin in a few months.
Once composited, the Marines and sailors of the 22nd MEU will begin their pre-deployment training program, which is a series of progressively, more complex exercises designed to train and test the MEU's ability to operate as a cohesive and effective fighting force.