After returning from the Combat Replacement deployment, I returned to Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. During this time period I continued my duties as the 1st Squad Leader of 1st Platoon, Fox Company, 2/4. This lengthy period consisted of a variety of training exercises spread out over several months. During this time period I concentrated my efforts on training my squad to prepare for combat in Afghanistan. What I gained during this time period was several months experience in the following:
- Project Planning and development
- Training Development and implementation.
- Leadership and Mentorship.
- Administrative Management of the 12 personnel under my charge.
- Development of subordinate managers and leaders.
- Organizational structuring and task assignment.
- Unit coordination and interdepartmental operations.
- Operations management.
- Project monitoring and controlling.
- Risk Management and the mitigation of realized risks through contingency strategies.
- Development and implementation of Standard Operating Procedures.
- Maintaining accountability of military Weapons, Equipment, and Gear totaling over $1 million, or more when assigned vehicles, closer to over $10 million or more at any given time.
- Inventory management.
I eventually decided to leave the fleet, as it appeared that 2/4 would not be deploying to combat. After over 6 years of deploying, I decided to take my “B-Billet,” which is what every Non-Commissioned Officer is required to do in their career in order to be considered for promotion. I chose to be a Combat Instructor, as I had managed to gain a reputation as an excellent teacher, and I greatly enjoyed it, especially when it came to teaching Infantry Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures. I left July of 2009 to attend Combat Instructor School at the School of Infantry (WEST) over in Camp San Onofre, on Camp Pendleton, CA.