By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Tommy Bellegarde
1st Marine Division
MARJA, Afghanistan : Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jason Glew is a workhorse.
As the company's logistician Glew is responsible for delivering all supplies, including food, water and clothing, to India's Marines out on the front lines. The 34-year-old noncommissioned officer also mentors India Company's platoon sergeants.
"It's hard to explain all the different roles and things [Glew] does to make the entire company successful," said Marine Corps Capt. Bill Hefty, India Company's commanding officer. "He gets less sleep than anybody while on deployment."
Glew has deployed often in his career. His current journey to Afghanistan marks the seventh time he has gone overseas since joining the Marine Corps. He has traveled to several different countries with the Marines, including Japan, Norway and Iraq. Deploying, Glew said, is satisfying -- especially being "outside the wire" of a base.
"Just going out there and doing everything that you've learned while you've been in [the Marine Corps], it's the culminating point," Glew said. "It's like the Super Bowl for football players. Being outside the wire is the Marines' Super Bowl. You get to put everything you know to the test -- all your skills."
Glew is no stranger to combat either, having fought in Iraq in the battle of Fallujah in 2004.
"That was the first time I was ever scared while I've been in the Marine Corps," he said. "I definitely thought many of us weren't going to make it out of that one, myself included."
Glew recalled that Fallujah was a constant fight from the get-go, with the Marines having to battle for every square inch of the city. He said that his platoon was attacked with machine-gun fire upon entering Fallujah's first half-block.
"The whole platoon was pinned down for about 30 minutes, until one of the squad leaders single-handedly ran up and fragged two of the machine-gun bunkers, which enabled us to roll," the Pittsburgh native said. "Being stuck in a two-foot-deep canal with machine-gun rounds hitting right next to you is pretty scary."
Glew's experience in Fallujah has given him the knowledge needed to serve as company gunnery sergeant and lead his Marines here.
"Falling back on experiences in Fallujah helped me know what [our Marines] needed to be both mentally and physically prepared for [Operation Moshtarak]," Glew said. "I was able to look back to when I was a platoon sergeant in the kinetic fight and remember what [supplies] I needed and how important it was to me that the company pushed those needs quickly.
"I [drew] from that experience," he added, "and was able to forecast what equipment the Marines needed and how much of it."
Glew also used knowledge gained from Fallujah to ensure that the senior Marines in the company's line platoons were ready to deal with the stress of a combat deployment.
"I was able to mentor the platoon leadership we currently have and give them a mental picture of how intense it could get," he said. "I talked with them and showed them how to put the intensity of the fight aside."
Glew's Marines have responded to his leadership.
"Gunny Glew has so much wisdom to pass," said Marine Corps Pfc. Anthony Cotto, a rifleman who works with Glew on a daily basis. "He's the jack-of-all-trades for the company."
Hefty said Glew's work has made other Marines' jobs much easier and has played a major part in the company's success during Operation Moshtarak.
"We're lucky Gunny Glew can change roles on a dime and take care of any number of issues before it's one more thing that clutters up my to-do list," Hefty said. "He's completely pro-active, all the time."
"He does it all," Cotto agreed. "The guy is awesome." (Issued on : May 17, 2010)
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