Brooklyn, NY, native leads Marines during Iraq deployment

15 Jan 2008 | Lance Cpl. David A. Weikle

As Marines become more proficient and experienced in the Corps, they are required to assume greater responsibilities and duties.

 Cpl. Frank Snyder is an example of the leadership which is being cultivated into the Corps’ next generation of noncommissioned officers.

 Snyder, a team leader with Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, attached to the U.S. Army’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Multi National Force-West, is on his second deployment. He said this deployment is different from last year’s as part of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, where he served as a rifleman.

 While last year’s deployment was spent aboard troop ships in the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf on call for contingency operations or crisis response, this deployment has been spent in constant counterinsurgency operations in Ramadi. During the last deployment, Snyder was responsible for himself. This year he has been entrusted with more responsibilities as a team leader, looking out for junior Marines under his command.

 “A team leader typically has three Marines he is responsible for,” said the Brooklyn, NY, native who has spent more than three years in the Corps. “He makes sure his Marines come first.”

 Snyder credited various life experiences to growing his leadership skills and capabilities. Snyder’s time as a wide receiver on his high school football team helped him learn how to be a team player and how to work toward a common goal, contributing greatly to his development as a leader.

 Snyder re-enlisted shortly after the battalion arrived in Iraq, citing how the Marine Corps has drawn him in and helped to foster a sense of duty and responsibility. As part of his re-enlistment package he will leave 1st Bn., 8th Marines, to become an instructor at The Basic School, in Quantico, Va. Snyder will use his knowledge and experience in training newly commissioned second lieutenants in infantry knowledge and tactics.

 “It’s what I’ve been doing with my junior Marines for the last two years,” said the 2001 Telecommunications High School graduate, who has considered a career in the Corps. “As a team leader, you always make sure you feed your team Marine Corps knowledge as well as mission essential knowledge. Becoming an instructor is one natural extension of that role.”

 Snyder’s squad leader, Sgt. Kasey Duddy, expressed his confidence in Snyder’s skills as a team leader. He commented on how valuable Snyder’s leadership is within the squad.

 “He’s been my first team leader since we got back from the last deployment,” said the Elkhart, Ind., native. “He knows his job and does it well. When I give him a task, he ensures it gets done.”

 Snyder’s role continues to increase within the squad as he works with local Iraqi Security Forces. He helps to train the ISF and works to coordinate joint operations including security patrols through southern Ramadi. Snyder said he and his fellow Marines have noticed positive changes through their interactions.

 “The ISF are getting out on the streets and letting people know they are working for them,” said Snyder, who previously took part in humanitarian operations during 2005 following Hurricane Katrina.

 When asked what sustains him through the challenges of another deployment, Snyder said he constantly draws strength from his family back home in the United States. He emphasized the importance of their continued support and noted how it affects his actions every day.

 “If anyone was my hero, it’d be my family,” said Snyder, who is also a father of a 3-year-old girl. “My wife supports every move and every decision I make.”