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Old 02-05-2003, 08:57 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2002
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Cool Marines look within for NCO school staff

David Josar / S&S
Marines who recently became noncommissioned officers drill on the proper use of the Marine sword. The Marines this week were taking part in a self-run NCO school at Marine Forces Europe Headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany.

David Josar / S&S
Marine Gunnery Sgt. Derek Rosington, left, barks at new Marine noncommissioned officers.

By David Josar, Stars and Stripes
European edition, Wednesday, February 5, 2003

STUTTGART, Germany ? The Marines assigned to areas within Europe are showing their ingenuity when it comes to attending noncommissioned officer school.

Last week, using Marines culled from its Stuttgart-area ranks as instructors, Marine Forces Europe held its first self-run NCO school.

In the past, new NCOs ? corporals and sergeants ? in Marine Forces Europe generally bypassed NCO school back in the States until they returned stateside. The staff was too small and stretched too thin to be able to send many NCOs to school immediately, MARFOR spokesman Maj. Tim Keefe said.

So, he said, MARFOR leadership decided to run its own NCO school. It hopes to make the school an annual event.

About 20 Marines attended classes on time management, urban warfare, counseling and leadership. They wrapped up the week Friday with a final exam.

?This is important because we are teaching what we learned and passing it on to the younger guys,? said MARFOR Sgt. Maj. Carlton Kent. ?Us older guys aren?t going to be around forever.?

Kent is an example of how Marine Forces Europe relied upon its own staff to do the training. On Wednesday, Kent taught other Marines how to conduct drills and also how to be good leaders.

Marine Sgt. Michelle Durante said the classes give an added edge to being a NCO she didn?t have before. Durante, who was promoted to sergeant in October 2001, said one reason the classes are better than a traditional NCO class is the students are more likely to know their instructors.

?They know you personally. It makes them better teachers,? she said. ?I enjoy it.?

One of those teachers was Gunnery Sgt. Derek Rosington, a former drill instructor, who Wednesday led a session on how to drill fellow Marines.

?We don?t drill like any other service,? Rosington said.

The trick to being a good drill leader, he explained, is you must re-enforce repeatedly what you expect from the Marines and rely upon ?constant correction.?

?If you have drilled 80 Marines you?re in for a ride. ? We call it driving the bus,? said Rosington, trying to explain the thrill of having the Marines respond to your direction.

He told the younger Marines that they must use their voices to command attention, and that they need to practice their cadence. He said many Marine drill instructors use the rhythm of the windshield wipers in their car or truck to perfect their cadence.

?Drill is not pretty. ? If my face is scrunched up and I?m spitting ? I?m getting what I?m after,? he said.

On Wednesday, the class split into four groups and alternated practicing on drilling and how to handle the Marine swords.

MARFOR spokesman Master Sgt. Phil Mehringer said at the end of the day many of the students, when they are done drilling, studying and sitting in the classroom, will go back to their jobs to see what they can do there. ?It?s hard, but it shows commitment,? he said.

Durante said the work may be tiring but it?s necessary. ?We need this to do our best. We want to be great Marines,? she said.


SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............
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