MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Ronald L. Green visited the Marines and Sailors of the Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, April 18, 2015.
Dunford and Green visited Marines of Company A, Weapons Company, and Engineer Platoon, Headquarters and Service Company, while they were conducting the offensive operations portion of a Marine Corps Operational Test and Evaluation Activity assessment at Range 107.
Accompanying Dunford and Green were Maj. Gen. Lewis A. Craparotta, MCAGCC commanding general; Brig. Gen. George W. Smith Jr., commanding general, Marine Corps Force Innovation Office; Col. Matthew G. St. Clair, commanding officer, GCEITF; and Sgt. Maj. Robin C. Fortner, sergeant major, GCEITF.
Dunford and Green observed the range as Marines representing the fucntional military occupational specialties of 0311 rifleman, 0331 machine gunner, 0351 assault man and 1371 combat engineer executed their required tasks of the assessment, to include manuevering personnel and equipment over an eight-foot tall storage container, assaulting pop-up targets, breaching obstacles and evacuating simulated casualties.
Following the completion of the run through, Dunford addressed the Marines on their role in the assessment and his gratitude for their performance.
“The most important thing I wanted to do out here is out here is look you Marines in the eye and say thank you,” Dunford said. “I appreciate the fact that you have hung in there and stayed with this experiment because it really is important.”
After he talked, Dunford gave Marines the opportunity to inquire about the state of operations and what lies ahead for the Corps.
“We are a standards-based organization and we are always trying to get better,” Dunford said. “We will continue to improve our standards and make the Marine Corps better.”
From October 2014 to July 2015, the GCEITF will conduct individual and collective level skills training in designated ground combat arms occupational specialties in order to facilitate the standards-based assessment of the physical performance of Marines in a simulated operating environment performing specific ground combat arms tasks.