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1st MarDiv CG visits Range 400, shows support for 3rd Bn., 7th Marines

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Maj. Gen. Richard P. Mills, the commanding general of 1st Marine Division, came aboard the Combat Center Nov. 20 to show support for 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, as they participated in Enhanced Mojave Viper as part of their pre-deployment training.

http://www.usmc.mil/unit/29palms/Pages/1stMarDivCGvisitsRange400,showssupportfor3rdBn,7thMarines.aspx

11/23/2009 By Pvt. Michael T. gams, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Mills, a native of Huntington, N.Y., observed Company L, 3rd Bn., 7th Marines run through the Combat Center’s Range 400. Mills said taking part in this type of training shows it is important to senior division leadership to support the Marines and sailors and cares about each individual in the division family.

“Having the general come out here to show his support is impressive, given his schedule,” said Sgt. Maj. Troy Black, the battalion sergeant major for 3rd Bn., 7th Marines. “There’s nothing like showing the Marines their senior leadership cares about them.”

Staff Sgt. Joel Reilly, the platoon sergeant with Weapons Platoon, Co. L, 3rd Bn., 7th Marines, agreed with Black, saying it means a great deal to him and his fellow warriors to see the highest levels of leadership takes time to ensure their pre-deployment training is going well and giving the unit the skills and tools necessary to succeed overseas.

While 3rd Bn., 7th Marines, doesn’t have a designated mission or orders to deploy yet, the battalion is participating in EMV training to ensure they will be ready to answer the nation’s call, said Black, a native of Louisville, Ky.

Mills said he was impressed by the company’s tenacity and professionalism on the range.

“It is a complicated training evolution,” said Mills about Range 400. “It put a lot of pressure on the small unit leaders, but they handled it excellently.

“All of the Marines out there were focused and understood the importance of the training,” he said. “I was especially impressed with the [noncommissioned officers]. They’re ensuring their junior Marines know their jobs and they are constantly teaching and mentoring their Marines to make them better and get them ready to get to the fight.”