CAMP DELTA, Iraq -- Cpl. Adam J. Miller, a squad leader with 2nd Platoon, led his men and Iraqi Security Forces soldiers on a routine patrol through the sand and dirt near Al Karmah as the sun peaked over the horizon.
Even though the Marines from Company I, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, were on a routine patrol, any manner of dangers could arise. According to this Lakeville, Minn., native, Marines must remain vigilant and alert during their missions and most importantly fall back on the skills learned during basic training to accomplish their mission.
The skills Miller refers to are techniques each infantry Marine learns while completing their military occupational specialty training at the School of Infantry. The Marines use these skills on a daily basis when conducting operations, like patrolling, while fighting in the Global War on Terrorism.
“It’s keeping yourself in the right frame of mind when you’re out there patrolling,” explained the 2001 Apple Valley High School graduate.
While on patrol, Marines keep their eyes peeled for anything out of the ordinary. Attention to detail, one of the basic skills learned in recruit training, helps identify possible areas where insurgents may be taking refuge.
“We were out patrolling and I just happened to notice a mortar casing and now we may go back there in the future to check for any weapons caches buried in the ground or in houses,” Miller explained.
No matter what the location, Miller and his Marines look for anything that doesn’t belong or looks out of place. Some places they travel they will rarely find anything of great concern, but there may be one time when they hit the jackpot.
“In the vast desert area, we more than likely won’t find too much. But there is always a slight chance somebody or something may trigger us to find a large weapons cache,” Miller said.
“The possibility of keeping the enemy from firing at us and the locals is why we do the basic stuff everyday.”