Twentynine Palms -- “In the Marine Corps, your buddy is not only your classmate, […] he is also the Marine under your command. If you don’t prepare yourself to properly train him and support him on the battlefield then you’re going to let him down. That is unforgivable,” Lt. Gen. Lewis Burwell “Chesty” Puller told his men in 1936.
Puller’s words still ring true today and the Marines of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 7th Marine Regiment, tested their ability to uphold this ideal as they conducted the Tactical Small Unit Leaders’ Course aboard the Combat Center July 14, 2016.
Squad and team leaders within the battalion conducted exercises on patrolling and immediate action to improve upon themselves and their leadership tactics and skills. TSULC teaches young leaders advanced patrolling and leading techniques such as engaging targets in unique situations and identifying the best opportunities to ambush the enemy.
“The purpose of this course is to improve leadership at the squad and fire team level,” said 1st Lt. Simeon Wrobel, executive officer, Company K, 3/4. “TSULC helps us reinforce the basics that the Marines learned while at [infantry training battalion]. Unlike a regular course, we focus on the ‘Darkside’ [standard operating procedures] and how we would handle certain situations. Utilizing these courses has made the small unit leaders more confident and capable.”
The curriculum teaches Marines topics ranging from patrolling to the use of various tactics and methods to overcome scenarios that they may come across while deployed.
“For some of the corporals that came to 3/4, this training helps refresh what we learned in ITB as well as improve ourselves for our Marines,” said Cpl. Damian Allen, TSULC student, 3/4. “I came from security duty, so this is an opportunity to reorient myself and make myself a better leader. This course largely benefits the Marines and the lessons we learn here can be taught to our junior Marines to improve the unit as a whole.”
3/4 will finish this iteration of TSULC with live-fire exercises to reinforce their skills of patrolling and engaging enemies as well as build confidence for the small unit leaders with in the unit.