Elite club gains new gunner

1 Feb 2008 | Lance Cpl. Robert C. Medina 1st Marine Logistics Group

One of the Marine Corps’ smallest clubs just added the newest member to its ranks and said “farewell” to one of its own.

 Chief Warrant Officer 5 Stuart J. White was promoted Feb. 1 and is scheduled to take hold of his new command Feb. 6, becoming the new officer in charge of the Multi National Force - West Advanced Infantry Training Center here.

 Both White and CWO-5 Terry L. Walker, the former OIC at the MNF-W AITC, Camp Habbaniyah, Iraq, are designated gunners. Marine gunners are typically found only in infantry units. As designated Infantry Weapons Officers, this makes them duty experts on all infantry weapons systems in the Marine Corps’ arsenal.

 White will utilize this knowledge in his upcoming mission to standardize Iraqi training for the Al Anbar Province by instructing American and Iraqi forces in all infantry weapons and tactics in order to create and sustain an Armed Coalition Fighting Force capable of defeating the insurgency, defending Iraq’s borders and ensuring the sovereignty of the Nation.

 “The focus of the Advanced Infantry Training Center is to train Iraqi soldiers and their police in the basic skills they need to lead their men,” White said. They learn these skills through the courses that the MNF-West Training Center has to offer, like the Iraqi Small Arms Weapons Instructors course, Iraqi Officers Small Unit Leader Course and the Iraqi Highway Patrol Course.

 Camp Habbaniyah is the only place in Iraq to have the Iraqi Army and Police training together, explained Walker.

 “(White) comes with many skills that I don’t have,” Walker said. “There is no man more prepared in all the United States military forces to train coalition and Iraqi forces than Gunner White.”

 “It’s important for the Iraqi Army and Iraqi Police to understand the importance of what they are doing,” White said. “They are professional soldiers and police men, and they are responsible for their actions.”

 For White, this promotion is an honor, as there are more four-star generals in the Marine Corps than there are CWO-5 gunners. Now, he’s among those five elite officers who serve as gunners in infantry units.

 White attributes his success to the Marines who serve with him. He said success is truly because of the people who work for you.

 “It’s true what they say; you don’t get here on your own.”

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1st Marine Logistics Group