Marine fire team evaluated for small unit leadership

II Marine Expeditionary Force
Story by Lance Cpl. Phillip Clark

Date: 06.27.2012
Posted: 06.27.2012 13:41
News ID: 90695
Marine fire team evaluated for small unit leadership

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines with 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division were evaluated for their offensive and defensive fundamentals during a training exercise aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune June 18-22.

The battalion evaluated their fire team leaders on their ability to perform fire and movement exercises, defensive fundamentals and Military Operations on Urban Terrain.

“Any chance we get to train our Marines we try and take the opportunity,” said Sgt. Johnathon Pickard, a positional safety officer with the unit. “Whether it’s practicing patrols in the empty space between barracks or clearing rooms we try and train as much as possible, because it builds confidence in the Marines.”

The evaluation of the Marines consisted of PSOs and evaluators watching the Marines as they performed such as live fire fire team rushes, traversing obstacle courses and squad formation courses. After the exercises the Marines were debriefed on what they did correct and what the fire team needed to improve on.

“The Marines are performing well out here with minimal mistakes,” Sgt. Matthew Reynolds, a PSO and evaluator said. “The Marines that are new to the unit are picking up fast. They’re improving on their individual actions along with their actions as a team and that’s what is required for them to pass.”

The culmination of the weeklong exercise consisted of a live fire shoot while conduction buddy rushes on an unknown distance course.

“This is a great culminating fire team event. Here, they focus on the small building blocks and what everyone is doing,” Cpl. John Irvine, an assault section leader and PSO, said. “With the Marines coming to the field and getting this kind of training they get a chance to have camaraderie. Out here they focus on their training with their teams and they get comfortable with them so they know when commands are called they are going to get followed through with.”

Evaluations for the fire team leaders are performed when the unit gets the chance, but the Marines enjoy seizing any opportunity to train.

“Small unit leadership is vital to the infantry Marine,” said Gunnery Sgt. William Brooks, the range safety officer. “When in combat, that fire team leader could be the difference between life and death. We have to hone his skills here so he is prepared to one day lead in combat.”