MUSA QAL’EH, Helmand province, Afghanistan – Showers and cold drinks in the 120-degree heat of the Afghan summer exist only in a Marine’s memory at some of the smaller patrol bases in the area, but one Grove City, Pa., Marine is determined to keep the unforgiving temperatures and desert sand storms from degrading a vital asset Marines and sailors use daily.
Sgt. Scott Moore said he takes pride in the contribution the Communications Platoon provides to 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 8. The data chief for the platoon is responsible for implementing and monitoring security measures for Marine Corps communication information systems networks and ensuring systems and personnel adhere to established security standards. He also leads a section of 11 Marines who work out of seven different locations throughout the unit’s area of operations.
“Speed and proficiency are extremely important to my work,” said Moore, a 2007 graduate of Grove City Area High School. “The communication (capability) we provide is used to securely relay important orders, messages, images and intelligence from the squad level to regimental headquarters in a very quick and efficient manner.”
The harsh environmental conditions here can take their toll on the electronic systems Moore is responsible for, but he and his Marines said they know their work is essential to support the infantry Marines patrolling the countryside. In the counterinsurgency fight, good communication keeps Marines both efficient and effective.
“With a little bias, I would say communication is the most important thing on the battlefield next to a Marine's rifle,” said Moore. “The ability to communicate effectively gives us an overwhelming advantage over the enemy and has, without a doubt, saved lives.”
Moore’s platoon commander takes a slightly different take on the role communications plays on the battlefield.
“Everyone will claim their role in the war is the most important; I will not do the same,” said Rochester, N.Y., native 1st Lt. Nick Russo, the communications officer for 3/2 and Moore’s platoon commander. “However, becoming a professional communicator is not something you learn from a manual or online class. It requires a tremendous amount of effort, concentration, critical thinking and hands-on experience at the lowest levels.”
Moore displays a fierce pride that borders on cocky when it comes to the level of dedication and performance the Communications Platoon has demonstrated, even prior to the deployment, but humility is always present when he speaks of the infantry Marines they work to support. He explained the pre-deployment training the unit underwent was long and required a lot of hard work on little sleep for his Marines, but admitted it was not nearly as physically rigorous as it was for the infantry Marines preparing to fight insurgents.
“Sleeping, eating, showering, and working right next to all your fellow Marines for weeks on end is a bonding experience that definitely prepared us for the deployment,” said the 22-year-old Moore.
His work ethic and achievements during the training did not go unnoticed, and Moore earned the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his actions during pre-deployment training at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, Calif.
“Sgt. Moore and his data section worked approximately 16 hours a day (in preparation for the pre-deployment training) -- they didn’t even leave to sleep -- to build servers for the upcoming training event,” Russo explained. “It was a grueling and time-consuming process, which ultimately set us up for success for deployment to Afghanistan.”
“Sgt. Moore is a professional at his job,” added Gainesville, Texas, native Staff Sgt. Christopher Westbrook, the radio chief for the platoon. “He is definitely the force driver behind the Data Communications section. When it is work time, he is all about business and won't stop until the task is completed.”
Moore said he has gained the life experience he sought by enlisting in the Marine Corps just months after graduating from high school and, with it, an everlasting brotherhood in the Marines he serves with.
“I joined the Marine Corps because I thought it was going to be the hardest thing I could do and was kind of rebelling against the expectation to go to college,” he explained. “I thought the Marine Corps could teach me a lot more about life and myself and would force me to grow up a little bit.”
Editor’s note: Regimental Combat Team 8 is currently assigned to 2nd Marine Division (Forward), which heads Task Force Leatherneck. The task force serves as the ground combat element of Regional Command (Southwest) and works in partnership with the Afghan National Security Force and the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to conduct counterinsurgency operations. The unit is dedicated to securing the Afghan people, defeating insurgent forces, and enabling ANSF assumption of security responsibilities within its area of operations in order to support the expansion of stability, development and legitimate governance.
|Date Posted:||07.14.2011 15:47|
|Location:||MUSA QAL'EH, HELMAND PROVINCE, AF|
This work, Pennsylvania native makes connections in Helmand, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.