1/10 Marines learn lessons from past;

4 Jun 2002 | Sgt. Joshua S. Higgins

More than 40 officers and staff noncommissioned officers with 1st Battalion, 10th Marines here participated in a "staff ride" to Gettysburg, Penn., in May. At Gettysburg, they spent three days examining, studying and retracing the steps of famous leaders and soldiers who took part in the Civil War's bloodiest battle."The intent of the trip was to give our Marines, especially our staff NCOs, the training they need to be better leaders," said Commanding Officer Lt. Col. Glenn Starnes. "Everyone really jumped into this project and got a better appreciation by studying the battle from a military point of view." Preparation and research for the ride began initially in February with a period of instruction given by Starnes. He talked about the battle's key leaders, their goals and the circumstances that led to the confrontation. Another discussion took place in April with a review of key skirmishes. Assignments were given to Marines who would visit the battlefield. . Starnes assigned each Marine to read two books about the battle prior to arriving at Gettysburg. He said these individual studies of key leaders and various stages of the battle encouraged professional growth.In Gettysburg, the Marines visited 15 sites on the battlefield and presented their own perspective on what they might have done differently at each. Individuals led discussions based on the books they had read.Communications Officer 1st Lt. Daniel C. McBride compared today's tactics to those of the past. He said in order to be a good leader of Marines, it's important to reflect on historic events."As leaders it is always good to go back and look at other leaders' failures and accomplishments," said McBride, a native of Sedalia, Mo. "Leadership styles in the past are very similar to what the Marine Corps is based on today -- honor, courage and commitment."Seamus Garrahy, a former Marine and current resident of Gettysburg, hosted and provided accommodations during 1/10's stay. The Marines camped on his property and enjoyed nightly bonfires with exchanges of Marine Corps' lore. Garrahy and his wife Linda prepared and provided steak and ale.Additionally, retired Sgt. Maj. Russ Rockwell, another resident of Gettysburg, gave a class on Civil War era infantry weapons. He displayed every weapon issued to a Marine rifleman since the commissioning of the Marine Corps.