View Full Version : Battery Gunny For the love of the gun

12-05-02, 11:45 AM
CAMP HANSEN, Okinawa, Japan -- When cannons are blazing a fiery of hell upon positions, there is an artillery mastermind working behind the scenes.

His knowledge in the field of artillery is nearly limitless and has gained the admiration of troops through his leadership style combined with motivation, humor, and a case of mild insanity.

Such a mastermind is Gunnery Sgt. Timothy "The Yeti" Glidden, Battery Gunnery Sergeant, R Battery, 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, leads the new generation of artillerymen into the Marine Corps' future with dedication.

For more than 19 years, this "Order of St. Barbara" recipient, which is the highest recognition for artillerymen, has stayed true to his occupation as a cannoneer.

As an artillery Marine, he has served with five different batteries in five separate battalions, and in four different regiments.
Through his experience starting off as a powder man with the eight-inch self propelled artillery piece and working his way up to battery gunnery sergeant of a M198 Howitzer battery, Glidden's love for artillery has never faded.

"I've always loved the camaraderie of the Howitzer gun sections," he said. "The gun crews are like individual families within the battery and are parented by their howitzer section chief. With the time I've spent as an artilleryman being a section chief has been the most fulfilling of my Marine Corps career."

Artillery is an ever-progressing occupation. As a private first class, Glidden started out as a powder man in the middle of the desert of Twenty-nine Palms, Calif. Moving up through the ammunition team, he became assistant gunner and then gunner. Upon reaching the rank of corporal in 1986 on Okinawa, he received his own howitzer crew as section chief.

"When I received my own section, I felt the burden of leading eight Marines with the responsibility of maintaining a 5-ton truck and an M198 155mm Howitzer, plus having the ever present fear of firing inaccurately," he said. "Knowing these burdens, I trained my section as hard as I could, striving to maintain my equipment and crew to the highest standards."

His crew not only accomplished this mission, but competed as the top gun in his battery and battalion.

"My section trained tirelessly to improve their cannoneer skills in a highly motivated fashion," he said. "Cannoneers became very excited when competing for the top gun. Through this training we gained a sense of pride knowing that we were the kings of the 'Kings of Battle."

Throughout the years, section chief and he has taught me everything there is to know, said Staff Sgt. Jonathon Glidden has inspired many section chiefs who were under his leadership.

"I've been with Gunny Glidden even before I became a Skutt, section chief, R Battery, 5/10, a native of Flint, Mich. "I've learned that it is one of the most awesome responsibilities that an artilleryman can carry, knowing that the safety and lives of your crew rest in your hands and

Once he became staff sergeant, he was assigned duties as platoon sergeant, which encompassed local security and advanced party duties.

"Being platoon sergeant allowed me to see the bigger picture for the need of taking care of six howitzer sections, plus developing and implementing a battery local security plan with the coordination of higher headquarters," he said. "For me, it was an eye opening and mind-broadening experience, which would prepare me for things to come."

After 17 years, Glidden reached the highest pinnacle of any artillery Marine's career when he was assigned as the battery gunnery sergeant for R Battery, 5/10.

"Artillery training has changed drastically since I began in 1983," he said. "Instead of receiving on-the-job training, there is now a formal artillery school at Fort Sill, Okla., that each artilleryman attends."

The 10th and 11th regiments provide progressive artillery training schools that start with the gunners' course, followed by section chief course, and the position commanders course, which were all attended by Glidden.

"I believe these schools give our cannoneers the understanding of their job and the concept of artillery operations," he said. "It not only provides regiments with better artillerymen, but also aid Marines returning from independent duties with re-familiarizing them with current procedures and new technology."

Glidden said he enjoyed the flexibility of his field, allowing him to go on independent duties such as barracks duty with the Ground Security Defense Force at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, recruiting duty in Indianapolis, Ind., and serving on the Inspector-Instructor staff at Joliet, Ill.

"When I left artillery as a corporal to go on barracks duty, I went from Cuba straight to recruiting duty," he said. "It wasn't until three years later when I became staff sergeant, I returned to the artillery field."

During recruiting duty, Glidden had an understanding of the benefits and offers that the Marine Corps had available.

"One of my favorite benefit tags in recruiting was the travel and adventure tag," he said. "Being in the Marine Corps, I've been able to fulfill those two benefits through artillery."

Through countless active and reserve artillery exercises, Glidden has traveled throughout the United States, and has been deployed to the Mediterranean visiting Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, and Israel while assigned to a battalion landing team. Through the Unit Deployment Program he's been to Korea, Japan, and had the opportunity to visit Thailand, Philippines, and Australia.

Glidden has had the chance to see both of the active and reserve sides of the Marine Corps during his duties as the field artillery chief for E Battery, 2/14.

"Working directly with a reserve battery one weekend each month and two weeks during the summer for three years, allowed me to realize the importance of the support provided by the reservist batteries and local community," Glidden said. "The reservists are motivated to be Marines. They wouldn't show up if they didn't love the Corps as much as any other active Marine."

With a successful 19 years dedicated to the Marine Corps, Glidden has seen the ends of the Earth and experienced most of the things the Corps has to offer. He now hopes to retire next summer to his hometown of Muncie, Ind., where his wife, Malinda, and 11-year-old daughter, Amanda, currently reside.

"With my Marine Corps Career coming to an end, I feel no regrets because I believe that I've done my best and worked with the best Marines in the Corps," he said.