While I was a Combat Instructor, I was selected to deploy to the country of Georgia as a part of a Marine Corps Training Team in order to train the Georgian Military to conduct operations with the US in Afghanistan. I was assigned to the team around March of 2010. I was assigned to the Marksmanship Training team, as I was a Marine Corps Combat Marksmanship Trainer as well. I was assigned as the team lead, with two assistant Instructors. This was an additional dose of experience in Project Management, with the project being to design, implement, and evaluate a training program to train Georgian Soldiers as Marksmanship Instructors as well as training a Battalion Georgian Soldiers in Marksmanship with the M4 Carbine weapons platform.
I had to accomplish the following:
- Design from scratch a Training Program to certify Georgian Soldiers as Combat Marksmanship Instructors.
- Design a 4 week training Program to train a Battalion of Georgian Soldiers in Combat Marksmanship while Assisting the Georgian Instructors in leading the training.
- Design the Class Presentations, Student Handouts, Testing methods, and Live Fire Ranges with a Qualification Course of Fire for both Close Quarters and Long Range Marksmanship.
- Establish the Training Schedule, determine the necessary resources, supplies, and range design to implement the course effectively.
- Ensure the course that has been developed is repeatable, scalable to different unit sizes, and capable of being adjusted as needed through translation into the Georgian language.
This project took me through all of the stages of the Project Life Cycle, and provided me with a great deal of experience, as we were primarily on our own in this endeavor with limited resources, primarily provided by the host Country, Georgia. After developing the course presentations, evaluations, handouts, schedule, range designs, resource requirements, and risk analysis, the project plan was approved and our team was deployed out to Georgia.
The professional skills I gained additional experience in included:
- Project Identification, Design, and Development.
- Project Planning.
- Resource planning and management.
- Scheduling using Reverse Scheduling methods.
- Risk Analysis and risk mitigation strategy development.
- Task assignment and delegation of responsibilities.
- Stakeholder analysis and management.
- Project monitoring and controlling.
- Establishing Project Scope and Scope management.
- Project Documentation and Work Breakdown Structure creation.
While deployed to Georgia, my team and I were able to effectively select and train a Combat Marksmanship Instructor cadre, certifying them as marksmanship instructors. I was able to monitor and critique these instructors’ actual periods of instruction for each of the companies of the Georgian Battalion through out the training. Working with the Georgian Staff of the base we were on, I was able to get a live fire rifle range designed and built, assisting them in developing Range Safety Standards, Range operations Standard Operating Procedures, and organizing the training area to provide training space.
After successfully training training the Battalion, we were able to achieve 100% qualification of the battalion with the M4 Carbine weapons platform, officially aiding the Georgian unit in moving from Russian manufactured arms to American made arms so they could effectively operate along side American Military units in Afghanistan.
Prior to our scheduled redeployment back home, a Volcano started to erupt in Iceland (if I remember correctly), resulting in our flights being delayed for some time, as well as the flights of the next training teams scheduled to come in and replace us. Due to the success of my project, they had requested that I develop a training program for the Patrolling and Offensive Fundamental training package that was scheduled to be done next. Since the other team had not yet completed their schedule and were not able to make it out, they needed some one to fill in the gap. It took me roughly 10 to 12 hours to develop a whole new training program covering these subjects and to turn in the project plan to the commander. This plan was approved by the commander, and from what I was told, was the schedule utilized by the team that replaced us about a week later.
After completing this short term deployment, I returned back home to Camp Pendleton, CA, and was sent to the Marine Corps Sergeant’s Course. After completing that course, I returned to my training company to continue training Marines in the MOS of 0311 Infantry Rifleman Scout.