CG Inspection puts Depot Marines to test
By Lance Cpl. Jennifer Brofer
| | August 29, 2003
MCRD/ERR PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. --
Depot Marines were put to the test Aug. 19-20 when they participated in the Commanding General's Inspection Program, which is aimed to evaluate unit efficiency, mission performance and combat readiness.
All commands and special staff under the administrative and operational control of the Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruit Depot/Eastern Recruiting Region were involved in the biennial inspection, which tested everything from uniform preparation, physical fitness and close order drill.
"We do these inspections every two years to assess the overall ability of the command to complete the mission," said Master Sgt. Andrew L. Cooper, the Deputy Command Inspector. "They also assist the command on improving areas that need to be improved."
Another goal of the inspection was to ensure Marines are utilizing all of their resources, government equipment and personnel in the most efficient manner, to avoid significant problems that could lead to waste, fraud or abuse of government funds, added Cooper.
Troop inspections consisted of the physical fitness test, uniform inspection, Color Guard and making sure Marines were within weight standards. Other areas of evaluation included sword manual, the Marksmanship Program, Battle Skills Training, Career Planning, Fitness Reports, Postal Affairs and Close Order Drill.
Some junior Marines may wonder why this inspection is so important, but Cooper insisted it helps prepare the Depot for any unexpected situation that may arise.
"We have to be ready whether in peacetime or in combat," said Cooper. "If the President of the United States requires us to go somewhere that may be in a combat environment, we have to be able to support the mission, whether it's doing combat photography, [Public Affairs] or you're in direct combat, we have to be proficient in what we do."
Aside from combat readiness, the inspection also evaluated "quality of life" areas that affect troops and their family members.
"Postal Affairs is a quality of life issue," said Cooper. "The CG wanted to make sure all [family members] are taken care of, and receiving mail in a timely an efficient manner boosts morale. So it is important that mail is sent and received as expeditiously and correctly as possible. When morale is up, readiness is up."
Although the Marines had little to no time to prepare for the inspection, many of them still achieved high marks.
"The Close Order Drill portion of the CGIP was a success, considering there was a short practice without rifles the afternoon prior to the event," said 1st Sgt. Donovan White, the Headquarters Co., H&SBn., first sergeant. "It was quite impressive how Marines coming from different sections throughout [H&SBn.] and across the Depot could come together as one platoon on short notice and perform as well as they did."
Some Marines may even be rewarded for their efforts, because those individuals who received outstanding marks on their inspection may be given an award at the CG's discretion, added Cooper.
Within the next week, the results from the inspection will be evaluated and each unit commander will be graded as either "mission capable" or "non-mission capable," based on their overall performance.