News: Small-unit leaders guide Marines through live-fire training
Story by Lance Cpl. Joseph Scanlan
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Marines serving with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, used their combat experience and tireless attitude to lead their Marines through training at Range 408 here, Oct. 24.
“It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to your Marines to lead them to victory on the battlefield,” said Cpl. George Heath, the 2nd Squad leader of 3rd Platoon and a native of Kansas City, Mo. “You have to look out for them, make sure they succeed in what they do and make sure that they are doing the right things at all times.”
The company spent three days on Range 408 conducting fire and maneuver exercises with various weapons systems in preparation for an upcoming deployment in support of the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
Heath said the smallest mistake or moment of hesitation could mean the loss of a Marine. The small-unit leaders drill their Marines to pay strict attention to detail and to trust and respect their leaders.
Corporal Benjamin Miller, the Golf Co. machine gun section leader, said since we arrived to the unit, the Marines were outstanding, especially during live-fire training.
“Anything I tell my Marines to do, they do it in a heartbeat in very high quality,” said Miller, a Los Angeles native
Exhausted and dirty from days in the training area, commonly referred to as “the field,” small-unit leaders tirelessly ran up and down the firing lines and communicated with their Marines to ensure that they had ammunition and were in healthy conditions.
“You have to be the Marine that every other Marine aspires to be,” said Lance Cpl. Michael Villasenor, the 1st Team leader of 2nd Squad, 3rd Platoon and a native of Baja California, Mexico. “You have to ignore your personal comforts to make sure that your brothers to the left and right of you are alright before you can worry about yourself.”
Villasenor said in order to be a successful infantryman, a Marine must know standard operating procedures, weapon system nomenclatures, be physically fit and take pride in everything he does.
“Were not just some average kids living off of our parents’ payroll out here,” said Lance Cpl. Alex Rodriguez, the 2nd Team leader of 1st Squad, 2nd Platoon and a native of Phoenix. “We’re constantly working or doing something productive. While people are sleeping in their warm beds at night, we are out here in the cold shooting or preparing ourselves for the next challenge we have to face.”