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Unit functionality tested with inspections

13 Oct 2013 | Lance Cpl. Paul S. Martinez

Units throughout the Marine Corps must operate with functionality which keeps them mission capable at all times. Headquarters Marine Corps implements the Commanding General’s Inspection Program to ensure that units are ran properly and deemed mission capable.

The purpose of the CGIP is to assess, assist and enhance the ability of the unit to prepare for and perform its assigned mission through a centralized inspection program every two years. The success of the program relies on fostering an environment of trust and confidence among Marines and one in which the commanding officer’s authority is respected and upheld.

“These inspections are all about seeing that units are upholding the Commandant’s goal of mission readiness,” said Gunnery Sgt. Sheldon D. Watts, assistant security manager, 1st Marine Division.

According to Watts, there are three major responsibilities he inspects for every unit. Information personnel systems, casualty affairs and privacy acts are high priorities on his checklist.

“I make sure commands uphold their responsibilities and information security programs,” Watts said. “All units must maintain accurate background checks, ensure classified material stays classified, and see that there are no breaches in operational security.”

All Marines within a unit are valuable to operations, and must be treated as such. Marines that are ill or wounded must be rendered appropriate care, and private information that includes financial or personal matters must be protected, according to Watts.

Aboard the Combat Center, Capt. Phillip Tate, adjutant, 1st Tank Battalion, underwent an inspection to ensure his unit was up to par with their expectations.

“The administration section is responsible for 22 functional areas,” Tate said. “For our inspection, we were found to be 100% mission capable, with 84% of our areas having no findings or discrepancies, and noteworthy comments made about our Marines.”

The five-day inspection consisted of inspectors providing an overview of what they would be looking for, and getting straight to their checklists to see for themselves how efficiently the shop was run.

The inspections also serve as positive learning experiences for the Marines who run a unit. It also recognizes excellence and identifies causes of problems which may be beyond the capability of the commanding officer to solve.

“The entire program is a learning experience,” Tate said. “Inspectors always give feedback and recommendations because they have worked in these functional areas before.”

The results of Commanding General Inspections go to the commanding general of that division. Areas of excellence are noted, while any findings and discrepancies are directed to the unit with guidance on how to rectify them.

There are more than 100 functional-area checklists to represent the different areas of operation within the units that Marines all over the Corps maintain.

With the CGIP conducting routine inspections, Marine units are afforded yet another training tool to ensure mission readiness.

A full list of functional-area checklists can be found at http://www.hqmc.marines.mil/.



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