MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va --
Their eyes looked past the falling leaves, focused on every move made by 2nd Lts. Clarence Miller and Jereme Tayamen, machine gunners, in the woods of Marine Corps Base Quantico on Nov. 6, 2013, but their lips never made a sound.
The Delta Co. officers were participating in “The War,” a final field exercise that all students participate in before graduation from The Basic School. Observing the students was a group of combat-experienced noncommissioned officers who had acted as advisors to the lieutenants during their schooling.
“I can’t imagine the period of instruction without our enlisted advisors,” said Capt. Alexander Ismail, 2nd platoon machine gunner. “It’s really shocking to me that it’s a recent development to have them here.”
Delta Co. is only the second company, after Charlie Co. who graduated in October, who has implemented enlisted Marines into their TBS curricula as platoon-level advisors to the future Marine leaders.
Although the enlisted Marines had shared their experiences and expertise with the junior officers up to this point in their training, this field exercise was different.
“This exercise gives them a chance to independently execute what they’ve learned over the past five months of training,” said Sgt. Russell Injerd, 4th Platoon advisor. “During this exercise, they operate with no or very little imput from an instructor. It gives them a chance to be creative and solve problems for themselves.”
Delta Co. leaders commented on why having the enlisted Marines assisting with the officers’ training was valuable.
“It’s a benefit in the fact that the lieutenants get to interact with NCOs on a daily basis and develop those working relationships before they head out to the fleet,” said Maj. Matthew McDonald, Delta Co. commanding officer. “They’ve been a huge asset in making the capability of a lieutenant leaving The Basic School that much higher.”