After attending the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) for 6 months from July 2006 to Dec. 2006, I decided that the Naval Academy was not for me. The environment at NAPS was not very respectful of Combat Veterans, and as a young Marine, I did not “fit in” well with the high school aged kids attending NAPS. I voluntarily left NAPS and was attached to a Detachment of Marines there in Rhode Island before Re-enlisting and returning to the Fleet.
I was attached to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine on Camp Pendleton, CA April of 2007. Once I arrived there, I was responsible for leadership and management of the small unit of new Marines, fresh from the Infantry Training Battalion, while waiting for the return of 2/4 from their combat deployment in Ramadi, Iraq. 2/4 was the unit I was set to attach to before I broke my foot at ITB, and most of the senior Marines there were my peers from boot camp in 2003. After they returned, the majority of them got out of the Marine Corps, or transferred to other units to continue their careers else where.
I was promoted to Sergeant (E-5) shortly there after, and was set as the Squad Leader for the first squad of 2nd platoon, Fox Company. This was during the latter half of 2007, and this was my first assignment as a Rifle Squad Leader. This was a role I had wanted for a long time, and was very proud to obtain it. After a few months, I was fortunate enough to be sent to the Infantry Squad Leader’s Course, Advanced Infantry Training Battalion, just down the road back at the School of Infantry. I had requested to take this court as a part of my Re-enlistment incentive. This was a 10 week long course, roughly, that was designed to build the Infantry Squad Leader. The challenges of this course are comparable to the exercises conducted at the Ranger School in the Army, with an emphasis on Combat Leadership.
While at the Infantry Squad Leaders Course, I learned the following:
- Leadership and Management
- Operations Planning, Logistics, Supplies management
- Unit Coordination
- Team building and Delegation of tasks
- Mentoring and Building up of subordinates
- Training development and implementation
- Communications and Public Speaking
- Advanced Infantry Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures
- Advanced training on various Weapons and Munitions
- Various Offensive Operations including Helo-Borne operations, Vehicle Mounted Operations, Combat Patrolling, Offensive tactics, Defensive Tactics, and other Infantry Operations
- Orders writing and Presentation
- Risk management
- Administrative management of personnel
After graduating from the Infantry Squad Leaders Course, December of 2007, I returned to Fox Company and was made 1st Squad leader of 3rd Platoon. I had 11 personnel placed under my charge, and was responsible for the Training, development, mentorship, and growth as Marines. After a brief period of working with my new platoon, we deployed to be the Boat Company for the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable) out of Okinawa, Japan. (Again for me).