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Lance Cpl. Manuel E. Cuello, an armory custodian with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, looks down the barrel of his rifle for obstructions at Al Asad Air Base, Iraq, Sept. 28. Several infantry Marines from the company will perform mission-critical duties including gathering intelligence, maintaining the armory and distributing mail.::r::::n::

Photo by Cpl. Shawn Coolman

Infantry Marines adapt to new mission

29 Sep 2008 | Cpl. Shawn Coolman 1st Marine Division

Select reservists with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 are trading in their infantry tactics for select duties to aid the company while deployed.

“Based on the qualifications of the Marines, the (company) took approximately 14 Marines and made a headquarters element,” said Sgt. Andres F. Lopez, 23, acting platoon sergeant, from Atlantic City, N.J.

The majority of the Marines will serve to gather intelligence, among other duties, for the company.

“(We’re helping the company by) keeping the Marines updated with the latest enemy techniques, tactics and procedures and trying to keep the line platoons in touch with the big picture,” said Cpl. Drew W. Daddio, 23, from Hackettstown, N.J. “(We will be ) going on patrols, tactically exploiting sites and getting specific intelligence for the company.  (We’re) also going to be going to the local tribal leader meetings.”

For many of the Marines, this will be a new challenge, but one of which they understand the importance.

“The majority of the element is for the Company Level Intelligence Cell,” added Daddio, a CLIC team leader who is studying criminal justice at County College of Morris in Randolph, N.J. “Basically, we’re the middle men taking the intelligence the line platoons get, passing that up to higher (commands) and making sure the intelligence that higher (commands) gathers gets down to the line platoons.”

Lopez commented that having infantry Marines aid the companies with intelligence gathering will benefit the overall mission of the battalion.  

“It’s good because they’re being both the (infantry) and the intelligence guy out there. If something happens while on patrol, (they) will know how to handle any situation,” said Lopez, whose civilian job is with the Department of Homeland Security.

The other duties the Marines in the headquarters element are scheduled to perform include armory custodians, field radio operators and mail clerks.

The Marines are scheduled to take up their duties at Combat Outpost Akashat, Iraq, where 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Bn., RCT-5, has been for the previous seven months.  

“From what I hear, it’s a good relationship (2nd LAR Bn.) has had with the locals,” said Daddio. “I really want there to be a continuation of that relationship to keep the peace.”

Daddio is on his second deployment to Iraq, and is happy to see all the work he and previous Marine units have done to reach this degree of stability in the region.

“Hopefully the Iraqi Security Forces continue taking the lead and all we have to do in the future is be there and make sure things run smoothly,” added Daddio.

1st Marine Division