Analyst, Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned, Marine Corps Combat Development Education Command - attached to Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines
Episode 5, 7, 9, 10, 11
Interviewer: Chief Warrant Officer William Hutson & Lieutenant Colonel John Way
Camp Baharia, Iraq - November 23, 2004
Courtesy of the Department of Defense and the U.S. Marine Corps History Division
I entered the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, September 26, 1980; went to boot camp June 4, 1981, and I graduated boot camp as the honor grad and went from there to C&E school Twentynine Palms, California, where I was trained as Comm Elect maintenance basic electronics course. Went from there to Shepard Air Force Base in Witchita Falls, Texas, where I was trained as a cable splicer. From there I went to 2nd FSSG [Force Service Support Group], Camp Lejeune, working at Comm Company, and then from that I went to Okinawa, Japan, to the Marine Corps base, worked as a cable-systems engineer, cable splicer, basically. And then, from Okinawa I went to Parris Island, where I worked at Depot Telephone for three years. While I was there, I went to school in Shepard Air Force Base, on key systems installation and maintenance. I was the honor grad out of that school, and then I went to drill instructor [DI] school. Class 2-89 was the honor grad out of DI school. I was drill instructor for approximately one year.
Applied for, and was selected for, the warrant officer program; MOS [military occupational specialty] 2010, as a telephone officer. From there, I went to Camp Pendleton, 1st FSSG, electronics maintenance company. I was a platoon commander for approximately a year. After that, I was sent to battalion to be the battalion adjutant and legal officer. I was that for approximately a year, and after that I was the combat ready storage program OIC [officer in charge]. Applied for, and was selected for, the college degree completion program. Received my Bachelor’s degree at California State University, San Marcos.
From there, I went to 2nd Marine Division, Comm Company, and was the telephone officer for that unit. And then, I was selected for Chief Warrant Officer 3. Applied for the Limited Duty Officer program. Got promoted to Captain. Went to ELMACO with 2nd Maintenance Battalion, and was the maintenance officer there. From there, I went TAD CAX [Combined Arms Exercise] CSSD [Combat Service Support Detachment]-26 as the XO [Executive Officer]. Came back, transferred to Miramar as the company commander for H&S Company, Comm Squad 38, also the maintenance officer. Was the XO for approximately two years and then was selected for Major. Went to 2nd Maintenance Battalion, was the commanding officer of electronics maintenance company, and became the OpsO, battalion operations officer, for about a year, and then retired at that point in September of 2002.
For the next two years, became a paramedic, held numerous civilian jobs, and I realized I was not being utilized to my full potential as a civilian. Asked Headquarters Marine Corps if I could come back in and since Iraq was going on and they were nice enough to comply. So, I joined the Marine Corps Center for Lessons Learned and within three weeks have been deployed to Camp Fallujah, Iraq. My initial focus was on collecting information on IEDs and traveling around the country looking at different units, what they were doing about it; our friendly TTPs [tactics, techniques, and procedures], as well as enemy TTPs. And went to Lima Company 3/5 for approximately four days. Conducted numerous patrols with them; foot mobiles, mobile patrols looking at IED sites, identifying where the enemy would put these IEDs, and then how the unit was identifying them, how they were locating them, what were some of their TTPs. Also, went on insurgent patrols, actually going into there, looking for these insurgents if we had information where they were making these IEDs and so forth. From there, I came back to MCCLL. Came to Fallujah for two days, packed my bags so that I could be attached with Kilo for Operation Phantom Fury.