Support: October 10, 2001


: Every year, the US Marine Corps has a meeting of its engineers, who work up a list of what they need. The list is virtually the same every year, and nothing gets done. They want some action on seven points:

@ They want a stronger and more active voice at higher levels of the Marine Corps. An Engineer advocacy office was established last year but needs to get more attention from other Marines.

@ Marine engineer lieutenant colonels, upon being promoted to full colonel, are automatically transferred to the logistics branch since there is only one engineer colonel (the head of the engineer school). The Marine engineers want more jobs created for full colonel engineers, including one on the staff of each division and higher headquarters.

@ Marine engineer officers leave the Marines in large numbers because they are constantly being transferred (informally) into non-engineer jobs. They want to stay inside their assigned field.

@ There is an Engineer Chief's Course taught by the Marine Corps Engineer School, but few senior Marine sergeants attend. They get no career benefit from the course, and it often hurts their chances of making first sergeant. They want all units required to use their assigned slots to send Marine engineer sergeants to this school, and to count the school as satisfying the requirement to take the Senior NCO course.

@ The Marine engineers want the barrier breaching equipment they have been promised since the Gulf War to actually be purchased.

@ The Marine engineers want the Navy to actually do something about dealing with shallow water mines that block marines from reaching the beach.

@ The Marine engineers want their units and deployment rethought. Currently, Marine engineer platoons are passed out to Marine rifle battalions whether they need them or not. The engineers want a system in which engineers are concentrated in areas that need engineering support, and they want engineer units enlarged.--Stephen V Cole


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