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Roles in the Corps: Communications Officer

[Maj Brent Purcell]:
My first job I ever had after leaving Communications School as a 2nd lieutenant was serving in Infantry Battalion and I had 60 Marines that I was responsible for making sure that they had lodging, food, clothing-the whole nine yards. So for a 24-year-old man graduating from college, going through Officer Candidates School and all the training that follows-that was a large responsibility, one that I was prepared to do based on the training that I'd received. But if you were to take me prior to receiving all that training, tell me to do the same job, there was no way that I would ever be prepared for that.

The hardest part about that job was just dealing with the unknown. You wanna plan for everything, but there are just some things that, that are, are not known, so you do the best you can do. You fall upon your standard operating procedures and you do the best you can do every day. Right now my current job is the course coordinator for the Basic Communications Officers Course and I currently have 73 students who I'm responsible for their training and have seven captains that assist me in providing that communications education for those students.

Ok, you understand that this is the easy part. You're in a static location. Tomorrow morning, while it's still dark outside, you're gonna be bounding from location to location. LZ to LZ. Also, with your tack nets, when we roll into a new location, it should only take 15, 20 minutes tops to get your tack nets up. You guys are so caught up in the technology in the radio than making the radio work from an operating standpoint. Is that part of it?

Yes, sir.

Maj Brent Purcell:
As far as gear or systems that we use for data, we use a lot of industry-standard type data equipment. When these young men and women leave here, they leave with an industry-standard certification that if they were to ever leave the Marine Corps some day, they would have that tangible benefit of a certification they could take to an employer and they'd be very marketable, as well as while they're in the Marine Corps, they're learning industry-standard techniques that the Marine Corps applies on a daily basis.