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thedrifter
10-20-08, 09:43 AM
Civil Affairs Marines refresh MOS skills

10/18/2008 By Cpl. Shawn Coolman , Regimental Combat Team 5

HAQLANIYAH, Iraq — When service members are deployed in billets outside their military occupational specialty (MOS), a little refresher is needed from time to time to keep them proficient in their trade.

Service members with Civil Affairs Team 6, Detachment 1, 2nd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 are deployed to al-Anbar province, Iraq, for a yearlong deployment and are not fulfilling their normal MOS duties.

Normally, the Marines with CA Team 6 fill artillery billets in an artillery battalion, but their duties here center on providing assistance and reconstruction efforts to the people in the area.

Staff Sgt. Graham H. Webb, team chief with CA Team 6, came up with the idea to implement weekly classes that the Marines and sailors teach to the rest of the team so they can maintain their MOS proficiency while serving in their respective billets here.

"(The classes are to) make sure (the Marines and sailors) know their MOS, so when they get back, they can get right back into it," said Webb, 26, from Ripley, Tenn., on why he implemented the classes. "They will have been out of their MOS for a year, and I want to make that they are not out of practice when they redeploy."

All the members of the team are present for each class so as to give them an understanding of the different MOSs in the Marine Corps.

"We have been doing these classes for about a month now, and they're going great," said Webb. "Also, it broadens everyone’s perspective on the Marine Corps."

During this deployment, a few of the Marines here were promoted, and upon redeployment they will have more responsibility in their jobs.

"It helps them learn how to teach others because when they redeploy to the states, they will more than likely be teaching junior Marines about their primary MOS," said Sgt. Dustin L. Baker, 27, a vehicle commander with CA Team 6, from Tallahassee, Fla.

A Marine who recently gave an artillery class to the Marines here thinks this is a valuable tool for everyone.

"It's a diverse group of people and it’s nice to get an insight on the different MOSs," said Lance Cpl. Curtis A. Shotliff, 21, who gave the artillery class. "At the end of this deployment, I'll have 18 months without doing my MOS, and to actually think of a class to teach prepares yourself better for redeployment and gives insight to the other Marines about your own MOS," said Shotliff, a vehicle driver with CA Team 6, from Henderson, Minn.

"When we get back (to the U.S.), I'm expected to be an artilleryman again, and these classes are exactly what I need, so that when the unit transitions back to artillery I'll be better prepared," said Shotliff, who filled the billet of cannon crewman with 2nd Bn., 11th Marines prior to the deployment.

Ellie