8th Comm Marines get combat ready

23 Aug 2000 | LCpl. Allan J. Grdovich

Drabbed in heavy camouflage while trekking through the thick brush and weeds surrounding Combat Town here, a four man reconnaissance team positions themselves and takes detailed notes on the enemy who stands a stones throw away.

This scenario was part of a recent three-day exercise in which Service Company and Headquarters Co., 8th Communication Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force took their differences out of the office and into the landing zones here.

Throughout the exercise, the same four-man headquarters team provided first hand intelligence on the whereabouts and movements of Service Co.

"Our team is the eyes and ears of Headquarters Company. Whether it is seeing how many vehicles are coming in and out of their camp, viewing their command post or eavesdropping to find out their passwords, we are observing it all," whispered Team Leader Sgt. Derek Soloway who stressed sound discipline during the mission.

Soloway, from Hollywood, Fla., also stressed the importance of endurance during the three-day-war.

"Although we are Marines who are mostly in administrative positions and do not go out in the field every week, we have to be ready at anytime to be in a physically taxing situation such as this on short notice," Soloway said referring to the hot and humid weather of North Carolina. "If you are not in good shape, there is no way you can complete your mission."

The other Marines in the team were Lance Cpl. Samuel Nunez, Cpl. Tauriq Griffin and Lance Cpl. Norman Cunningham.

"These Marines were really motivated that's why they were picked for the job," said Headquarters Co. Commanding Officer Capt. Jersey Reyes from Elizabeth, N.J., referring to his choosing of the recon team.

Sharpening of field skills is a never-ending task for Marines. The warriors of 8th Comm. Bn., in particular the recon team of Headquarters Co., reassured that whether you are in the armory, cook, logistics or administrative line of work, the Marine ethos that "Every Marine is a Rifleman" prevails before anything else.