News: From students to teachers: supply Marines instruct officers in the field
Story by Lance Cpl. Sullivan Laramie
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines with 2nd Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 25, 2nd Marine Logistics Group participated in a field exercise here with students from the Ground Supply Officer Course, or GSOC, Aug. 25 to 29.
This cooperative exercise between the battalion and school, which was the first of its kind, was intended to give officers new to supply a view of what supply Marines do in a field environment while continuing to train Marines who were already in the Fleet Marine Force.
“In the past, GSOC hasn’t really gotten a lot of field experience, so they’re trying to implement this,” said 2nd Lt. Peter J. Whang, a student with GSOC. “This differs from a school environment because in a school environment you’re just in a classroom, learning from a [slideshow] or you’re working on computers. Out here, there’s a lot of friction.”
The friction during the operation served to give the students an accurate experience with some of the difficulties Marines might face in the field and what can be done to remedy the problems.
“It’s a little bit different,” said Whang, a native of the San Fernando Valley, Calif. “Usually in a classroom setting, we interact with officers or master sergeants, but out here, we’re actually learning from the lower level up to the higher level so we can get a greater scope of what ground supply is all about.”
The students were taught by junior Marines and non-commissioned officers ranking from private first class to sergeant, which gave a different perspective on leading supply units than they would have by only going through the officer-level course.
While conducting the exercise, the battalion also continued to support approximately 30 units in II Marine Expeditionary Force throughout Camp Lejeune.
“The battalion incorporated General Support Motor Transport into the scheme of maneuver and allowed them to actually distribute the [supplies] to the using units,” said Capt. Ashley Lish, the operations officer for 2nd Supply Bn. “The battalion came out here with two different goals. We wanted to work on our mission-essential tasks and train some of the students from GSOC, and both occurred.”
The dual operations put the battalion in a position to demonstrate the importance of gaining field experience early in a Marine’s career and learning the tasks from the lowest rank to the highest in order to understand the full capabilities of a unit.
“… This is potentially the start of a long-term strategic partnership between the school house and 2nd Supply Bn.,” said Lt. Col. Jesse A. Kemp, the commanding officer of the battalion. “The students provide us the opportunity to stress our systems and processes by acting as a battalion-size unit in the field. It provides future II MEF supply officers the opportunity to put a face and name to those who will be providing them intermediate-level supply support once they get to their units.”