Marine Enlisted Commissioning Program sets students up for success with first-hand stories
By Pfc. Carrie Booze
| | July 13, 2007
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO --
Future officers in the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program preparatory school came together June 27, to observe and partake in a period of Professional Military Education on Operation Iraqi Freedom.
The PME focused on numerous military occupations and highlighted how the occupations operate while in the combat zone. Sgt. Joshua Carson, infantryman and student at MECEP, arranged for six Marines to share their individual stories and lessons they have learned while being a leader of Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Sergeants Zach Daugherty, communications, and Stephen Seaberry, who works in supply, kicked off the PME as the first speakers. Although in different occupations, both Marines spoke of the importance of maintaining and being accountable for their gear and fellow Marines. Daugherty advised for Marines to back up their back-up support, in order to prevent any problems. Seaberry touched on the roles that innovation, flexibility and creativity play in his Military Occupational Specialty.
The logistical occupation was covered by Staff Sgt. John Fergerson. Fergerson informed Marines about the role of Maritime Prepositioning Forces—ships which contain nearly everything the Marines need for initial military operations. It is vital that the MPF ships are pre-positioned in order to supply a specific Marine Expeditionary Force on time.
Both Gunnery Sgt. Chun Park, infantryman, and Staff Sgt. Jonathan Flaucher, intelligence analyst, covered the topic of communication between Marines. Park spoke of how junior Marines that have not been to a combat zone need a detailed brief on what to expect in order to reduce their combat stress. Flaucher discussed the process of de-briefing Marines and making sure everyone is knowledgeable of the current situation and plans.
Covering the artillery MOS was Staff Sgt. Joshua Larson, who shared his personal story of setting the example for other Marines while in a high-stress situation. While in combat, Larson said keeping one’s composure is necessary because Marines will feed off the attitude of their leaders.
The PME was organized to educate the future officers on certain situations that can arise while deployed so they can learn from other Marines’ lessons, said Carson.
Carson ended the PME by stressing the importance of being decisive, because many of the decisions a leader makes in combat can put the lives of other Marines at stake.
“It was a great opportunity for future officers to get speaking experience while sharing key lesson learned from our combat operations in Iraq,” said Lieutenant Colonel Michael I. Moffet, director of MECEP Prep. “Everyone gained a better appreciation for the perspectives of various MOS’ as well.”