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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Reservists in action: Marines hone MOS skills during annual training

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | | August 1, 2014


College students, businessmen and police officers took a break from their civilian professions to focus on their skills of being a Marine reservist.

Some honed their warehouseman proficiency by sorting through gear returning from Iraq and Afghanistan and learned the Corps’ latest equipment accountability system, while others donned welding helmets to protect their eyes and faces from weld sparks, during their annual training aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, recently.

The Marine reservists were from Detachment 2, Combat Logistics Battalion-453, Combat Logistics Regiment-4, 4th Marine Logistics Group, and 6th Engineering Support Battalion, Battle Creek, Michigan.

The purpose of the annual training was to increase military occupational specialty proficiency, according to Capt. Tom Hill, officer-in-charge, Logistics Training, assigned to Det. 2.

More than 40 reservists were divided into two groups for the two-week training with half learning basic warehouse operations while others trained to use the Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps system, Hill said.

The GCSS-MC is a system that ensures proper logistical receipt, disbursement and tracking of equipment. 

 “We’ve had nothing but (positive) feedback from the Marines working in the warehouse, who were getting hands-on experience,” Hill said. “For some Marines, the GCCS-MC was a refresher course, while for others it was their first introduction to understanding how the inventory system works.”

Unlike active-duty Marines, reservists typically train one weekend a month and participate in a two-week annual training each year.

“The purpose of a reservist is to support the active-duty Marine and augment as necessary,” Hill said. “We try to take some of the burden off the active-duty Marine when needed.”

Hill continued, “Oftentimes, we augment the active-duty units and when we send someone, we want him or her to hit the ground running, whether it is driving a forklift, sorting inventories or operating the Global Combat Support System-Marine Corps system.

“We want the Marine to be well versed enough that with a little bit of refresher or guidance, he or she will be a capable asset to that unit,” he said.

One of the most important attributes a reservist brings to the Marine Corps is “outside experience,” Hill noted.

With their outside civilian experiences, the Marines can add a new and different perspective in the way a process is being done, he said.

Speaking of his unit, Hill said, “We have some highly intelligent and very capable Marines. Many junior Marines are engineers and some have their own personal businesses that are successful. Several have science degrees and we even have one corporal pursuing a degree in aeronautical engineering.”

According to Master Sgt. Darren Moore, senior enlisted adviser, Logistics Training, the Marine Corps also helps reservists in their civilian jobs as well.

 “The Marine Corps teaches you how to be a leader,” Moore, a reservist since 1996 and a correctional officer sergeant, Polk Correctional Institution Department of Corrections, Polk City, Florida, said. “The ability to lead is one of the strongest traits you can have being in law enforcement.”

Moore continued, “In the profession of law enforcement you must be honest, your word is your bond especially when dealing with the public. It's a brotherhood just like the Marine Corps; you believe in, and you trust in the person next to you.”

Moore also said being in law enforcement has helped him become a better Marine. 

“When you learn the law and have to deal with the public everyday, solving problems from minor disturbances to major incidents you have a whole new outlook on life and that's experience you can use in military situations,” he said.

Moore noted there are more than 30 Marines with law enforcement backgrounds within his unit.

“Talking to the junior Marines they'll tell you that both professions compliment each other well, especially in the way you conduct yourself and the decisions you make in everyday life,” he said.

Lance Cpl. Johnathan Ricketts, machinist, Heavy Equipment Platoon, 6th Engineering Support Company, 6th Engineering Support Battalion, Battle Creek, Michigan, said the annual training provided him an opportunity to sharpen his machinist skills and cross-train with several welders.

Ricketts, a roughneck, which is an entry-level position on an oil rig in Williston, North Dakota, said he “learned a variety of welding techniques during my cross-training, which will help me maintain the oil rig.”