View Full Version : MACG-38 hosts 'combat' Corporals' Course

08-04-04, 06:57 AM
MACG-38 hosts 'combat' Corporals' Course
Submitted by: 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Story Identification #: 200483423
Story by Sgt. J.L. Zimmer III

AL ASAD, Iraq (Aug. 3, 2004) -- Waking up at 4:30 a.m., running to the sound of motivating cadence and studying until their brains felt numb, are just three of the things more than 50 non-commissioned officers have been doing here for more than two weeks.

Marine Air Control Group 38, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, held a Corporals' Course here recently from July 6-23; the first since 3rd MAW landed in Iraq more than five months ago.

The course, covering a variety of topics from proper counseling of troops to close-order drill, guided the students through countless hours of absorbing essential knowledge, before demonstrating mastery of each subject through practical application of lessons learned.

According to 1st Sgt. Patrick Q. Young, first sergeant, Company A, Marine Wing Communications Squadron 38, MACG-38, the course was planned in advance of the unit's arrival here in February.

"We started to plan this before we left for Iraq," said Young, a 36-year-old New York City, native. "We knew we would not be able to do this during the (MACG-38) installation phase of the base communications, so we figured July would be the best time."
The course, which was run by sergeants and staff non-commissioned officers of MACG-38, was "important to the advancement and strengthening of common Marine Corps skills," said Cpl. William P. Schwartz, air traffic control communications technician, Marine Air Control Squadron 2, MACG-38.

"This course has reinforced a lot of customs and Marine Corps knowledge that a lot of Marines, through their daily tasks, get away from," said the 24-year-old Dover, Del., native.

Staff Sgt. Bruce L. Villasenor, radio maintenance chief, communications and electronics maintenance platoon, MWCS-38, added that the graduating class should depart the course with a new sense of awareness about being a Marine Corps NCO.

"This was all about the students and giving them the skills they need to become better leaders," said the 25-year-old San Diego native. "Hopefully this will make them aware that being an NCO shouldn't be taken lightly. An NCO has more responsibility and requires a higher level of maturity. They are the backbone of the Marine Corps."

The imagination and extra effort put into designing the curriculum, are some of the reasons Sgt. Brandi C. Partain, radio technician, communications electronics maintenance platoon, believes the corporals will get more from participating in the course here than at their regular duty stations.

"We were very creative and more resourceful with what we had," said the 22-year-old Gulf Shores, Ala., native. "The corporals are getting more out of it because we were able to spend more time preparing it and making it more personalized."

Partain added that attending the course during an overseas deployment was ideal for Marines with a spouse and children.

"This was a good opportunity for the married Marines to do this out here because they are already separated from their families," she said. "If (the married Marines) were doing this course in the (United States), they would be away from their families for a week, come home for a day and then they would be gone for another week."

Sgt. Giselle A. Calliste, warehouse chief, Marine Tactical Air Command Squadron 38, MACG-38, said she was able to experience the satisfaction of imparting the same information she received as a corporal.

"I've been to Corporals' Course and Sergeants' Course," said the 26-year-old New York City native. "Now I know what it is like to pass down the knowledge that was passed down to me during this course."

Cpl. Nicole M. Bydash, electrician, Detachment A, MACS-2, said the course boosted her morale and gave her inspiration to become a better leader.

"This was an outstanding course," said the 22-year-old Belgrade, Mich., native. "This was the biggest motivational pick-up I have had since I became a corporal."

She added that the location of the course had a lot to do with why she was able to make it through without losing focus on graduating successfully.

"Doing (the course) out here helped make the time pass and being away from home helped me to concentrate on what I needed to do for it," Bydash concluded.