MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines from 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, are attending a Tactical Small Unit Leadership Course or Warrior Academy from June 20 to July 8 as a part of their training to become new fire team leaders and squad leaders for the unit aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The Marines that were selected to become new squad leaders and fire team leaders attend the course to learn about team work and leadership to better teach the Marines they soon will be in charge of.
"I think it’s great to teach the Marines these classes and get them back to the basics of war fighting,” said Staff Sgt. Michael McCombs an instructor for the course and a platoon sgt. for Company E, 2/9. “It makes the Marines better rounded to learn the fundamentals and basics instead of only doing the actions.”
The first week of the course consists of academic classes that get the Marines back to the basics such as war fighting skills, decision making processes, basics of a Marine rifleman, and offensive and defensive fundamentals.
“I think it’s good that we get back to the basics with a lot of our senior leadership leaving. Junior Marines stepping up, learning what we can to lead Marines will benefit everyone,” said Cpl. Joseph Dosker, a student in the course and a squad leader for Company E, 2/9. “I also think it’s great that we can get some of the more senior leadership to come teach us what they know, and everyone gets together to better help us become leaders.”
Once the academic classes are over, the Marines go to the field for their second week to put what they learned into practice and perform offensive and defensive fundamentals along with routine patrolling.
“I’m excited to go to the field and put what we know into practice,” said Dosker. “I mean, everyone here is learning new stuff -- even some of the guys that have been in awhile, so I look forward to using that knowledge to lead my Marines.”
After the second week of practicing in the field, the Marines are evaluated and tested in their third and final week of the course. They must show the instructors what they learned and if they can handle commanding their own squads and fire teams.
“For the Marines to get these classes, put them into practice, then get evaluated they will have a better understanding of what to do and how to do it efficiently,” said McCombs. “It’s a great course and it’s hard to get everyone through a course like this, so we expect to teach these upcoming squad leaders and fire team leaders and then for them to turn around and teach the Marines they’re in charge of.”
Along with the classes, practical application and tests, the Marines have a little fun in their morning physical training as they run through obstacle courses carrying telephone poles, stretchers, ammo cans, and water jugs filled to the brim. They use teamwork and leadership to accomplish the task of running the obstacle course in a certain time limit while building camaraderie by ending with a nice cool swim in the ocean.
“Everything these Marines do is mental just as much physical, and it’s great for the more senior Marines to teach them what we can,” said Sgt. Donald C. Miller one of the physical training instructors for the course and a platoon sgt. for 3rd Platoon, G Company, 2/9. “I enjoy getting with the Marines and training them and teaching them what I know, all while watching them build camaraderie and having a good time.”