3rd Marine Division hosts leader’s conference
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP SMEDLEY D. BUTLER, OKINAWA, Japan -- Battalion and regimental commanding officers and senior enlisted advisors convened May 22-24 at Camps Courtney and Hansen as well as the Central Training Area for the 3rd Marine Division’s Spring 2014 Commanders and Senior Enlisted Conference.
The theme of the leader’s conference was “How we train and fight as a division,” which opened a dialogue on a range of command related topics. The conference focused on 3rd Marine Division’s way ahead for 2015 and beyond.
The first day of the conference covered the division combat standard operating procedures that will soon be published, which is in essence the doctrine for how the division fights.
In the afternoon, the leaders participated in tactical decision game scenarios, which led to thought-provoking discussions, according to Sgt. Maj. Paul G. McKenna, the sergeant major of the division. The senior enlisted advisors also went on a battlefield tour and study with McKenna.
“The commanders and senior enlisted advisors heard the commanding general's views and guidance on numerous warfighting topics, and now better understand his intent,” said McKenna. “(Furthermore), the commanding general heard from his leadership, and better understands how they think and prepare our Marines to fight.”
On the second day, the leaders talked about the division's current state of readiness and training, its five-year long range training plan, the tactical exercise and employment plan for the next two fiscal years, and several other topics vital to the success of the division.
“The way ahead for (3rd Marine Division) is to continue to be ready at a moment’s notice to provide a credible response across the range of military options, from humanitarian assistance to theater security cooperation to full scale combat,” said Maj. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III, the commanding general of 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “A highlight in 2015 will be a division-level exercise during Exercise Balikatan.”
The conference ended on the third day with a competitive M590 shotgun marksmanship event in the Central Training Area. This event enhanced the esprit de corps and camaraderie among the commanders and senior enlisted while increasing weapon proficiency, and was a great way to close the conference, according to Clardy.
“There is nothing better than to get all your leaders together to build that camaraderie,” said Lt. Col. Michael J. Roach, the commanding officer of 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III MEF. “To get out here overseas to the only permanently forward-deployed division and meet on this hollow ground in Okinawa is just a wonderful opportunity. We’ve certainly enjoyed every minute of it at the personal level and the organizational level.”