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Posted: 9/22/2004 5:00:34 AM EST
Issue Date: September 27, 2004

Gunners question enlisted advisers’ war-fighting skills

By Laura Bailey
Times staff writer

Marine gunners have a message for first sergeants and sergeants major: In a wartime Corps, it’s time to put drill aside and get serious about war fighting.

Until that happens, those senior enlisted advisers will continue to be “dead weight” for their units in combat, the gunners said.

That was the frank view of the chief warrant officers at their annual symposium on infantry issues held Aug. 8-13.

“They’re fine men. I don’t wish to take that away from them. … I blame the system,” said Chief Warrant Officer 5 Patrick Woellhof, the infantry weapons officer occupational field manager and organizer of the symposium at Quantico, Va.

The problem, gunners say, lies in how first sergeants and sergeants major are trained for their duties and how they are assigned to units. While those leathernecks serve as senior enlisted advisers to unit commanders, gunners say many first sergeants and sergeants major lack the background and technical expertise required to advise commanders.

“We can ill afford carrying dead weight by assigning someone that can’t understand the duties we are performing,” said gunner Chief Warrant Officer 3 Jeffery L. Eby, senior gunner for Regimental Combat Team 7 in Iraq.

The assignments system does not consider a Marine’s job background prior to becoming a first sergeant or sergeant major when assigning him to a unit. So Marines with infantry backgrounds often end up as enlisted advisers in service-support units, for example, and leathernecks who came up through the ranks as military police advise commanders in aviation squadrons.

It’s a process intended to create well-rounded enlisted leaders who are knowledgeable in all aspects of the Marine Air Ground Task Force. But gunners question the wisdom of that policy.

Woellhof said gunners are hearing from young commanders and staff NCOs about problems in the field such as a lack of technical expertise. There are also cases of first sergeants and sergeants major continuing to emphasize garrison-style discipline over war-fighting skills while in combat zones, Woellhof said.

“When we have sergeants major writing back to the states to have their swords sent over so they can run a corporals course, there’s a serious disconnect,” Woellhof said. “That disconnect has serious long-term consequences on the ground.”

Background matters

Supporters of the system might say a unit benefits from the expertise of a senior enlisted adviser with a different military occupational specialty background. And from a fairness standpoint, they say the current system allows all MOS communities to compete for promotion in the first sergeant-sergeant major career track.

The gunners, however, say disadvantages outweigh benefits.

“The system places the senior [staff NCO] at a severe disadvantage by taking him out of his element where he can be respected for his experience and knowledge in the job being performed and requiring him to develop respect in completely foreign areas that he has yet to be trained in,” Eby wrote in an e-mail from Iraq.

Making matters worse is that the senior leadership academies aren’t giving first sergeants and sergeants major enough training in the war-fighting skills needed to offset their lack of infantry expertise and ensure that they are combat multipliers to their commander, the gunners said.

Gunners have asked that the Corps study the assignment process and the associated professional military education for the enlisted advisers. They also recommend that the Corps no longer base selections to first sergeant and sergeant major on “every man for the job.”

“When people weren’t dying, it was probably a great social experiment,” Woellhof said. “Our responsibilities are fighting and winning our conflicts, period. If that means some people get left behind on the sergeant major track, then, hey, so sad.”

A spokesman for Manpower and Reserve Affairs at Quantico, Va., said the gunners’ recommendations are being reviewed and taken seriously by analysts at the command.

“It will probably be discussed at the next sergeant major symposium and ultimately with the commandant before a final decision,” said Capt. Jeff Landis.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:04:04 AM EST
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:06:39 AM EST
Too bad that every unit in the US military doesn't have a Sergeant Major Basil Plumley. I doubt anyone would question his war fighting skills.

"Any uhhh-you sons-a-bitches call me grandpa, I'll kill ya"!
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:06:57 AM EST
Holy shit, that's fucked. So in the Marine Corps, a CSS-type can become the 1SG of an infantry company? What Democrat dreamed up that abortion of a policy?
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:09:19 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 5:10:15 AM EST by KA3B]
This is from an ALMAR message, that's why it's in caps.


THE COMMANDANT HAS DIRECTED THAT THE MARINE GUNNERS COME FROM THE RANKS OF THE INFANTRY'S SENIOR STAFF NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS.

THESE MARINES MUST POSSESS COMBAT ARMS SKILLS, EXPERIENCE, AND EXPERTISE SUCH THAT THEY CAN MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES OF THEIR FUTURE UNITS.

AS INFANTRY WEAPONS OFFICERS, THEY WILL BE A SOURCE OF EXPERTISE ON ALL ASPECTS OF INFANTRY WEAPONS.

THEY WILL MAINTAIN THEIR HIGH DEGREE OF EXPERTISE BY COMBINING CONSECUTIVE TOURS IN THE FMF WITH OCCASIONAL TRAINING BILLETS.

DUE TO CONTINUAL FMF ASSIGNMENT, MARINE GUNNERS SHOULD EXPECT TO SPEND A LARGE AMOUNT OF THE TIME DEPLOYED.

INFANTRY WEAPONS OFFICERS WILL ADVISE THE COMMANDER ON THE TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT OF WEAPONS ORGANIC TO INFANTRY UNITS.

ADDITIONALLY, THEY WILL DEVELOP, COORDINATE, AND MONITOR UNIT TRAINING PROGRAMS IN THE TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE OF WEAPONS ORGANIC TO INFANTRY UNITS.

THEREFORE, ONLY EXPERIENCED INFANTRYMEN IN MOS 0369 ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM.

E-8'S AND E-9'S IN MOS 9999 MUST HAVE HELD THE 0369 MOS PRIOR TO THE 9999 MOS TO BE ELIGIBLE.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT FEW HAVE THE BROAD SCOPE OF KNOWLEDGE DESIRED IN A GUNNER.

THE TRAINING TRACK DEVELOPED FOR THIS MOS WILL BUILD ON THE SELECTEE'S PRESENT BASE OF EXPERIENCE AND PRODUCE AN OFFICER FULLY QUALIFIED TO CARRY OUT THE DUTIES OF A GUNNER.

FOLLOWING THE WARRANT OFFICER BASIC COURSE, NEWLY APPOINTED MARINE GUNNERS WILL ATTEND THE INFANTRY OFFICER COURSE AND WEAPONS INSTRUCTOR COURSE.


Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA

Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:09:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA



CWO...Chief Warrant Officer. Most helicopter pilots (or at least many) are CWO's. Not sure what other capacities they serve in. The term gunner here seems a bit too vague. It could mean gunner...as in helcopter door gunner, tank gunner, lots of things. Not sure what they mean. I guess in order to understand the specific situation, we would need to know what type of unit they are in.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:45:27 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 5:52:01 AM EST by Cincinnatus]
I hate to disagree with the "Gunners", but I don't think they fully understand the role of the 1stSGT or the SgtMaj. It has nothing to do with advising the commanders about ANYTHING infantry related (or any other MOS).
Frankly, I'm amazed that they don't "get it".

(Gunners are Infantry warrant officers, whose role within BNs and up is to advise commanders about weapons employment and ranges. NOT maneuver)

The Platoon SGT and Platoon Guide are the two senior enlisted men in the Platoon.
The Co. 1stSGT and the Co GySgt are the two senior enlisted men in the Company.

The Sgt Major and is the senior enlisted man in the Bn, Rgt, Grp, Div, etc.

Their jobs are the same, all the way up.

The Plt guide/Co gy is responsible for administration and logisitcs within the unit.

The PltSgt/Co 1stSgt's job is to advise the CO on personell matters within the unit.
Only the PltSgt is really there to advise on MOS/technical related matters, because he has the same MOS.

But once you get to the Company level and above, the senior enlisted man's job is 100% about the welfare of the troops, NOT tactics, NOT weapons, NOT employment of the troops.
He is the advisor to the other SNCOs in the unit, and is responsible for overseeing their developement as SNCOs.
The last thing a Company Commander, Battalion Commander, or Regimental Commander needs, is the 1stSgt or SgtMaj's input about Operations.
At the Company level, the XO, FIST Team provide more than enough input.
At the Bn level and up, the 3 shop, and Co Cmdrs are more than enough.

Bottom line:

If the senior enlisted man in a unit isn't performing as he should, it's the Commander's fault, not the system.

Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:46:42 AM EST
i held the 0369 line number as a cpl.......do i qual?
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 5:47:16 AM EST

Originally Posted By QuietShootr:
Holy shit, that's fucked. So in the Marine Corps, a CSS-type can become the 1SG of an infantry company? What Democrat dreamed up that abortion of a policy?


That's the way it is.
It's a fine idea.
Our last 1stSgt was an Engineer, our current one is a Comm guy.
His job to look after the welfare of the troops, NOT advise the CO on TTP or Operations.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:00:49 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:06:18 AM EST
Exactly.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:36:18 AM EST

Originally Posted By KA3B:
This is from an ALMAR message, that's why it's in caps.


THE COMMANDANT HAS DIRECTED THAT THE MARINE GUNNERS COME FROM THE RANKS OF THE INFANTRY'S SENIOR STAFF NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS.

THESE MARINES MUST POSSESS COMBAT ARMS SKILLS, EXPERIENCE, AND EXPERTISE SUCH THAT THEY CAN MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES OF THEIR FUTURE UNITS.

AS INFANTRY WEAPONS OFFICERS, THEY WILL BE A SOURCE OF EXPERTISE ON ALL ASPECTS OF INFANTRY WEAPONS.

THEY WILL MAINTAIN THEIR HIGH DEGREE OF EXPERTISE BY COMBINING CONSECUTIVE TOURS IN THE FMF WITH OCCASIONAL TRAINING BILLETS.

DUE TO CONTINUAL FMF ASSIGNMENT, MARINE GUNNERS SHOULD EXPECT TO SPEND A LARGE AMOUNT OF THE TIME DEPLOYED.

INFANTRY WEAPONS OFFICERS WILL ADVISE THE COMMANDER ON THE TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT OF WEAPONS ORGANIC TO INFANTRY UNITS.

ADDITIONALLY, THEY WILL DEVELOP, COORDINATE, AND MONITOR UNIT TRAINING PROGRAMS IN THE TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE OF WEAPONS ORGANIC TO INFANTRY UNITS.

THEREFORE, ONLY EXPERIENCED INFANTRYMEN IN MOS 0369 ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM.

E-8'S AND E-9'S IN MOS 9999 MUST HAVE HELD THE 0369 MOS PRIOR TO THE 9999 MOS TO BE ELIGIBLE.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT FEW HAVE THE BROAD SCOPE OF KNOWLEDGE DESIRED IN A GUNNER.

THE TRAINING TRACK DEVELOPED FOR THIS MOS WILL BUILD ON THE SELECTEE'S PRESENT BASE OF EXPERIENCE AND PRODUCE AN OFFICER FULLY QUALIFIED TO CARRY OUT THE DUTIES OF A GUNNER.

FOLLOWING THE WARRANT OFFICER BASIC COURSE, NEWLY APPOINTED MARINE GUNNERS WILL ATTEND THE INFANTRY OFFICER COURSE AND WEAPONS INSTRUCTOR COURSE.


Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA




That info is wrong.
If it were correct, there would be no female CWO's, and I know for a fact that there are female CWO's in the Marine Corps.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:44:20 AM EST
The Marine Gunner program provides warrant officers who are specialists in all aspects of infantry weapons and who are the source of expertise in the employment of weapons organic to infantry units. In addition, they are responsible for the development, coordination and monitoring of unit training programs for tactical weapons employment.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:51:12 AM EST
Dude, take it up with the USMC....


Originally Posted By Hydguy:
That info is wrong.
If it were correct, there would be no female CWO's, and I know for a fact that there are female CWO's in the Marine Corps.

Link Posted: 9/22/2004 6:54:57 AM EST

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:


But once you get to the Company level and above, the senior enlisted man's job is 100% about the welfare of the troops, NOT tactics, NOT weapons, NOT employment of the troops.
He is the advisor to the other SNCOs in the unit, and is responsible for overseeing their developement as SNCOs.
The last thing a Company Commander, Battalion Commander, or Regimental Commander needs, is the 1stSgt or SgtMaj's input about Operations.
At the Company level, the XO, FIST Team provide more than enough input.
At the Bn level and up, the 3 shop, and Co Cmdrs are more than enough.

Bottom line:

If the senior enlisted man in a unit isn't performing as he should, it's the Commander's fault, not the system.




I disagree.

I do agree that the SgtMaj's job is troop welfare (clean shitters, mail, laundry, making sure the a/c for the tents and peanut butter and candy makes its way to the non-rates as well as the officer tents).

Part of welfare in the field is making sure the troops have enough sandbags, making sure that the posts the 2ndLT assigned them to are not stupid and overly exposed, making sure barriers and bunkers are well placed, making sure the non-rates have the new rifle scopes before the S-4 capt does, making sure the zero and firing range actually has some good training going on and isn't being pencil whipped by the 1stLT TrainingO and the StaffSgt running it.

Some guy who got selected for 1stSgt out of admin or disbursing can't do that, and he is going to fall back on marching training and checking shaves instead.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:04:27 AM EST

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA



CWO...Chief Warrant Officer. Most helicopter pilots (or at least many) are CWO's. Not sure what other capacities they serve in. The term gunner here seems a bit too vague. It could mean gunner...as in helcopter door gunner, tank gunner, lots of things. Not sure what they mean. I guess in order to understand the specific situation, we would need to know what type of unit they are in.



The Marine WO is a specialist in a feild, although CWO are refered to as "gunners" only the infantry CWO's wear the bursting bomb on the collar. The other CWO MOS's are specialist and a bridge between the Commitioned Officer and SNCO.

My Marine Corps doesnt have any enlisted or CWO pilots, that is a program the Army uses and I think it is a good one.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:07:20 AM EST
tag for later...
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:16:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By 6172crew:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA



CWO...Chief Warrant Officer. Most helicopter pilots (or at least many) are CWO's. Not sure what other capacities they serve in. The term gunner here seems a bit too vague. It could mean gunner...as in helcopter door gunner, tank gunner, lots of things. Not sure what they mean. I guess in order to understand the specific situation, we would need to know what type of unit they are in.



The Marine WO is a specialist in a feild, although CWO are refered to as "gunners" only the infantry CWO's wear the bursting bomb on the collar. The other CWO MOS's are specialist and a bridge between the Commitioned Officer and SNCO.

My Marine Corps doesnt have any enlisted or CWO pilots, that is a program the Army uses and I think it is a good one.



Correct. And SgtMaj's and 1stSgt's don't need to be advising on tactics. Their job is admin.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:19:55 AM EST

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA



CWO = Cheif Warrant Officer

Outranks an E-anything, but junior to a 2LT
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:23:53 AM EST

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA



The level of knowledge they're supposed to possess is encyclopedic.

Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:29:36 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 7:33:01 AM EST by Cincinnatus]

Originally Posted By Happyshooter:

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:


But once you get to the Company level and above, the senior enlisted man's job is 100% about the welfare of the troops, NOT tactics, NOT weapons, NOT employment of the troops.
He is the advisor to the other SNCOs in the unit, and is responsible for overseeing their developement as SNCOs.
The last thing a Company Commander, Battalion Commander, or Regimental Commander needs, is the 1stSgt or SgtMaj's input about Operations.
At the Company level, the XO, FIST Team provide more than enough input.
At the Bn level and up, the 3 shop, and Co Cmdrs are more than enough.

Bottom line:

If the senior enlisted man in a unit isn't performing as he should, it's the Commander's fault, not the system.




I disagree.

I do agree that the SgtMaj's job is troop welfare (clean shitters, mail, laundry, making sure the a/c for the tents and peanut butter and candy makes its way to the non-rates as well as the officer tents).

Part of welfare in the field is making sure the troops have enough sandbags,

That's the job of the Company Gunny.

making sure that the posts the 2ndLT assigned them to are not stupid and overly exposed, making sure barriers and bunkers are well placed,
That's the job of the squad leaders, Plt SGTs and CO. The positions of which you speak would be part of a fireplan sketch, and given to the CO. NOT the 1stSgt.
The 1stSgt might go hole to hole, and see if the troops are getting enough sleep, chow, etc.

making sure the non-rates have the new rifle scopes before the S-4 capt does,
That's the job of the CO, armorer, and XO.

making sure the zero and firing range actually has some good training going on and isn't being pencil whipped by the 1stLT TrainingO and the StaffSgt running it.
The CO, Ops Chief, and Three shop has that responsibility, AS DOES THE GUNNER. Not the SGTMAJ, or 1stSgts.



Some guy who got selected for 1stSgt out of admin or disbursing can't do that, and he is going to fall back on marching training and checking shaves instead.

You don't understand the billet description and duties of the SGTMAJ and 1stSGT.
You're in good company, though.
Neither do the "Gunners", apparently.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:31:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 7:37:48 AM EST by Lightning_P38]
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:35:26 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hydguy:

That info is wrong.
If it were correct, there would be no female CWO's, and I know for a fact that there are female CWO's in the Marine Corps.




The ALMAR is correct. There are many different MOS that require WO's and CWO's that are not "combat arms" MOS's, such as supply, avionics, and such, that wear their rank insignia on BOTH collars. What the ALMAR addresses is the specific CWO's from the 0369 MOS who wear a bursting bomb on one collar, and a CWO bar on the other. These are the TRUE Marine Gunners'. Unfortunately, the term "gunner" is often used incorrectly throughout the majority of the Corps
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:49:37 AM EST

The USMC does not have a program where CWO's train to become helo pilots. HOWEVER, when I was stationed in Hawaii many years ago, there was a CH46 pilot who was 3 times passed over for promotion to Major. He was a damn good Marine, but just didn't make the cut. Instead of leaving the Corps as most Officers in that situation are prone to do, this Captain took the offer to become a Gunnery Sergeant and went back to the FMF, submitted a WO package and was selected. He waited until he was promoted to CWO2, then petitioned to be returned to flight status and was accepted. THAT is the only USMC CWO helo pilot I know of.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 8:27:32 AM EST

Originally Posted By DPeacher:
The USMC does not have a program where CWO's train to become helo pilots. HOWEVER, when I was stationed in Hawaii many years ago, there was a CH46 pilot who was 3 times passed over for promotion to Major. He was a damn good Marine, but just didn't make the cut. Instead of leaving the Corps as most Officers in that situation are prone to do, this Captain took the offer to become a Gunnery Sergeant and went back to the FMF, submitted a WO package and was selected. He waited until he was promoted to CWO2, then petitioned to be returned to flight status and was accepted. THAT is the only USMC CWO helo pilot I know of.



I thought after 2 pass-overs you were out?

Or have they stopped that practice?
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 8:35:00 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 8:41:53 AM EST by Happyshooter]
I think I see where we are disagreeing. You are looking at this from a point of view of a grunt unit, which has Plt Leaders, Company Gunnys, knowledge, skills, and the like.

I am speaking about every other unit of any type, where there is no knowledge, no company gunnys, and the officers slept through grunt leadership in OCS or forgot it their first week in radio or intel or supply school, and worse yet can't or won't get up to speed or do the right thing now.

EDIT for cool story: Team Spirit 89, we get intel that the students are going to car bomb one of the camps near the hill north of Pohang (can't remember the #, but the one with the statue they put in in 88). We are one such camp so we block access to the zero tents with 5-tons, and move troops to more exposed positions to guard the camp, carefully issuing the real ammo to only those guys in position to guard the officers (until long after --when they brought more real ammo ashore). The zeros were more than happy (wingers, and they loved their comfort and safety), and our SgtMaj at the time was not a former grunt (the one before him was, and he did his job very well).

Most, if not all, non-grunt units are like that.


Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:

Originally Posted By Happyshooter:

Originally Posted By Cincinnatus:


But once you get to the Company level and above, the senior enlisted man's job is 100% about the welfare of the troops, NOT tactics, NOT weapons, NOT employment of the troops.
He is the advisor to the other SNCOs in the unit, and is responsible for overseeing their developement as SNCOs.
The last thing a Company Commander, Battalion Commander, or Regimental Commander needs, is the 1stSgt or SgtMaj's input about Operations.
At the Company level, the XO, FIST Team provide more than enough input.
At the Bn level and up, the 3 shop, and Co Cmdrs are more than enough.

Bottom line:

If the senior enlisted man in a unit isn't performing as he should, it's the Commander's fault, not the system.




I disagree.

I do agree that the SgtMaj's job is troop welfare (clean shitters, mail, laundry, making sure the a/c for the tents and peanut butter and candy makes its way to the non-rates as well as the officer tents).

Part of welfare in the field is making sure the troops have enough sandbags,

That's the job of the Company Gunny.

making sure that the posts the 2ndLT assigned them to are not stupid and overly exposed, making sure barriers and bunkers are well placed,
That's the job of the squad leaders, Plt SGTs and CO. The positions of which you speak would be part of a fireplan sketch, and given to the CO. NOT the 1stSgt.
The 1stSgt might go hole to hole, and see if the troops are getting enough sleep, chow, etc.

making sure the non-rates have the new rifle scopes before the S-4 capt does,
That's the job of the CO, armorer, and XO.

making sure the zero and firing range actually has some good training going on and isn't being pencil whipped by the 1stLT TrainingO and the StaffSgt running it.
The CO, Ops Chief, and Three shop has that responsibility, AS DOES THE GUNNER. Not the SGTMAJ, or 1stSgts.



Some guy who got selected for 1stSgt out of admin or disbursing can't do that, and he is going to fall back on marching training and checking shaves instead.

You don't understand the billet description and duties of the SGTMAJ and 1stSGT.
You're in good company, though.
Neither do the "Gunners", apparently.

Link Posted: 9/22/2004 9:18:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 9:23:29 AM EST by Rabid_Coyote]
Cincinattus has done a great job of pointing out that a SgtMaj is not primarily a tactical advisor at all, but an administrator, logistician and motivator. (And sometimes ass kicker...)

However, one thing I haven't seen mentioned is the flip side of this situation. In a noncombat arms unit an infantry Sergeant Major could be a very valuable tactical advisor to the commander. A grunt background SgtMaj could really help an aviation or support unit commander that was suddenly tasked to defend his perimeter or send out local security patrols. This is another benefit of the system as it exists. The combat arms Sergeant Majors that find themselves in the Wing or FSSG do a lot to help inculcate Warrior Ethos and disperse combat skills through the Corps.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.


As a post script, one of the best infantry First Sergeants I ever had the privelege of learning from was a Marine that had spent his career as a rotorhead crew chief. He was still a highly motivated son of a bitch that expected, and got, the best from all of us.

Semper Fi
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 9:26:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By 6172crew:

Originally Posted By Charging_Handle:

Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA



CWO...Chief Warrant Officer. Most helicopter pilots (or at least many) are CWO's. Not sure what other capacities they serve in. The term gunner here seems a bit too vague. It could mean gunner...as in helcopter door gunner, tank gunner, lots of things. Not sure what they mean. I guess in order to understand the specific situation, we would need to know what type of unit they are in.



The Marine WO is a specialist in a feild, although CWO are refered to as "gunners" only the infantry CWO's wear the bursting bomb on the collar. The other CWO MOS's are specialist and a bridge between the Commitioned Officer and SNCO.

My Marine Corps doesnt have any enlisted or CWO pilots, that is a program the Army uses and I think it is a good one.



The only true gunners in the Marine Corps are the ones who wear the bursting bombs, until the 80s all WO/CWO out from the combat arms (infantry, armor, artillery) were real gunners. But that went away, now only 03s are gunners. CWO like to be called gunner, but they are not. Our last CWO pilot retired in the 90s. when we retired the OV-10s.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 10:20:31 AM EST

Originally Posted By Hydguy:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
This is from an ALMAR message, that's why it's in caps.


THE COMMANDANT HAS DIRECTED THAT THE MARINE GUNNERS COME FROM THE RANKS OF THE INFANTRY'S SENIOR STAFF NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS.

THESE MARINES MUST POSSESS COMBAT ARMS SKILLS, EXPERIENCE, AND EXPERTISE SUCH THAT THEY CAN MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES OF THEIR FUTURE UNITS.

AS INFANTRY WEAPONS OFFICERS, THEY WILL BE A SOURCE OF EXPERTISE ON ALL ASPECTS OF INFANTRY WEAPONS.

THEY WILL MAINTAIN THEIR HIGH DEGREE OF EXPERTISE BY COMBINING CONSECUTIVE TOURS IN THE FMF WITH OCCASIONAL TRAINING BILLETS.

DUE TO CONTINUAL FMF ASSIGNMENT, MARINE GUNNERS SHOULD EXPECT TO SPEND A LARGE AMOUNT OF THE TIME DEPLOYED.

INFANTRY WEAPONS OFFICERS WILL ADVISE THE COMMANDER ON THE TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT OF WEAPONS ORGANIC TO INFANTRY UNITS.

ADDITIONALLY, THEY WILL DEVELOP, COORDINATE, AND MONITOR UNIT TRAINING PROGRAMS IN THE TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE OF WEAPONS ORGANIC TO INFANTRY UNITS.

THEREFORE, ONLY EXPERIENCED INFANTRYMEN IN MOS 0369 ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM.

E-8'S AND E-9'S IN MOS 9999 MUST HAVE HELD THE 0369 MOS PRIOR TO THE 9999 MOS TO BE ELIGIBLE.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT FEW HAVE THE BROAD SCOPE OF KNOWLEDGE DESIRED IN A GUNNER.

THE TRAINING TRACK DEVELOPED FOR THIS MOS WILL BUILD ON THE SELECTEE'S PRESENT BASE OF EXPERIENCE AND PRODUCE AN OFFICER FULLY QUALIFIED TO CARRY OUT THE DUTIES OF A GUNNER.

FOLLOWING THE WARRANT OFFICER BASIC COURSE, NEWLY APPOINTED MARINE GUNNERS WILL ATTEND THE INFANTRY OFFICER COURSE AND WEAPONS INSTRUCTOR COURSE.


Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA




That info is wrong.
If it were correct, there would be no female CWO's, and I know for a fact that there are female CWO's in the Marine Corps.



Not all CWO are gunners?
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 1:09:25 PM EST

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
I know nothing of Marine Warant Officers. In the Army, in theory if not in practice a Warrant officer is a highly specialized tecnician whose primary focus is on his assigned mission rather than the day to day operation of a unit. Pilots, Maintanence chiefs, and BN level commo shops are jobs that are often performed by Warrant officers. In reality an Army Warrant Officer is normally given the same responsibility and duties as a normal officer in addition to the resposibility to maintain his specialized skills and knowledge, somewhat often mroe thoroughbred officers (Citadel and West Point grads come to mind) consider a Warrant Offier as a nuisance who they are forced to share the Officers Club with.

Edited to add: In the Army the proper adress for a Warrant is Mister not Sir, but I don't think I ever recall this being observed. Once again this applies to the Army, I know nothing of the Corps.



Yup, you have it pretty much on. We are supposed to be addressed as "Mister" in title but "Sir" otherwise but outside of Warrant Officer schools and the rare field grade that gets it right "Chief" is what goes. Tradition overrides regulation in that regard.

There is a slow push by some to eliminate the Army WO.... being led in part by aviation warrants who want to get the pay that pilots in the other branches get. Having us switch from wearing the Eagle Rising insignia to wearing branch insignia last July was one part of this.

They may some day make the aviation guys LDO's, and that would be fine with me. But they could never do away with the technical Warrant Officers like myself. Making us LDO's would skew the whole rank structure, and doing away with us would leave one helluva void.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 1:17:24 PM EST

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

Originally Posted By Lightning_P38:
I know nothing of Marine Warant Officers. In the Army, in theory if not in practice a Warrant officer is a highly specialized tecnician whose primary focus is on his assigned mission rather than the day to day operation of a unit. Pilots, Maintanence chiefs, and BN level commo shops are jobs that are often performed by Warrant officers. In reality an Army Warrant Officer is normally given the same responsibility and duties as a normal officer in addition to the resposibility to maintain his specialized skills and knowledge, somewhat often mroe thoroughbred officers (Citadel and West Point grads come to mind) consider a Warrant Offier as a nuisance who they are forced to share the Officers Club with.

Edited to add: In the Army the proper adress for a Warrant is Mister not Sir, but I don't think I ever recall this being observed. Once again this applies to the Army, I know nothing of the Corps.



Yup, you have it pretty much on. We are supposed to be addressed as "Mister" in title but "Sir" otherwise but outside of Warrant Officer schools and the rare field grade that gets it right "Chief" is what goes. Tradition overrides regulation in that regard.

There is a slow push by some to eliminate the Army WO.... being led in part by aviation warrants who want to get the pay that pilots in the other branches get. Having us switch from wearing the Eagle Rising insignia to wearing branch insignia last July was one part of this.

They may some day make the aviation guys LDO's, and that would be fine with me. But they could never do away with the technical Warrant Officers like myself. Making us LDO's would skew the whole rank structure, and doing away with us would leave one helluva void.



IIRC, a lot of Physicans Assistants were transitioned to commissioned officers back around 1991. Our PA became a Major. I believe a lot of the technical guys, like missile techs, got a similar deal.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 1:27:01 PM EST
The PA's are the only ones that has happened to. That was due to the fact that the offers from all other services were so much more lucrative for PA's the Army had to do it or face losing all of them.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 2:57:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By Hydguy:

Originally Posted By KA3B:
This is from an ALMAR message, that's why it's in caps.


THE COMMANDANT HAS DIRECTED THAT THE MARINE GUNNERS COME FROM THE RANKS OF THE INFANTRY'S SENIOR STAFF NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS.

THESE MARINES MUST POSSESS COMBAT ARMS SKILLS, EXPERIENCE, AND EXPERTISE SUCH THAT THEY CAN MAKE A SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THE WARFIGHTING CAPABILITIES OF THEIR FUTURE UNITS.

AS INFANTRY WEAPONS OFFICERS, THEY WILL BE A SOURCE OF EXPERTISE ON ALL ASPECTS OF INFANTRY WEAPONS.

THEY WILL MAINTAIN THEIR HIGH DEGREE OF EXPERTISE BY COMBINING CONSECUTIVE TOURS IN THE FMF WITH OCCASIONAL TRAINING BILLETS.

DUE TO CONTINUAL FMF ASSIGNMENT, MARINE GUNNERS SHOULD EXPECT TO SPEND A LARGE AMOUNT OF THE TIME DEPLOYED.

INFANTRY WEAPONS OFFICERS WILL ADVISE THE COMMANDER ON THE TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT OF WEAPONS ORGANIC TO INFANTRY UNITS.

ADDITIONALLY, THEY WILL DEVELOP, COORDINATE, AND MONITOR UNIT TRAINING PROGRAMS IN THE TACTICAL EMPLOYMENT AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE OF WEAPONS ORGANIC TO INFANTRY UNITS.

THEREFORE, ONLY EXPERIENCED INFANTRYMEN IN MOS 0369 ARE ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR THE PROGRAM.

E-8'S AND E-9'S IN MOS 9999 MUST HAVE HELD THE 0369 MOS PRIOR TO THE 9999 MOS TO BE ELIGIBLE.

WE RECOGNIZE THAT FEW HAVE THE BROAD SCOPE OF KNOWLEDGE DESIRED IN A GUNNER.

THE TRAINING TRACK DEVELOPED FOR THIS MOS WILL BUILD ON THE SELECTEE'S PRESENT BASE OF EXPERIENCE AND PRODUCE AN OFFICER FULLY QUALIFIED TO CARRY OUT THE DUTIES OF A GUNNER.

FOLLOWING THE WARRANT OFFICER BASIC COURSE, NEWLY APPOINTED MARINE GUNNERS WILL ATTEND THE INFANTRY OFFICER COURSE AND WEAPONS INSTRUCTOR COURSE.


Originally Posted By BayEagle:
In order to understand this article I need to know what are CWOs and "gunners" duties? Is that the same as a Master Gunnery Sgt? TIA




That info is wrong.
If it were correct, there would be no female CWO's, and I know for a fact that there are female CWO's in the Marine Corps.



Not all CWO are gunners?


No.
Marines have fallen into the unfortunate habit of addressing ALL WOs as "Gunner", but in fact only WOs whose specialty is INFANTRY are real "Gunners":


The Marine Gunner program provides warrant officers who are specialists in all aspects of infantry weapons and who are the source of expertise in the employment of weapons organic to infantry units. In addition, they are responsible for the development, coordination and monitoring of unit training programs for tactical weapons employment.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 3:10:40 PM EST
Yes you have to be an 0306 to be a Gunner, just because your a WO or CWO doesn't mean you are a gunner. The requirements to be a Gunner are allot more strict than being a WO/CWO. If I remember right to even apply to be a Gunner you have to be at least a GySgt with 15 or 16 years in from the 0369 MOS field. You skip WO and go right to CWO2 upon accessions, following the 10 week WO-TBS, you go right to IOC, than to Small Arms Weapons Instructors Course.
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