During the 1990s our SNCOICs (Staff Noncommissioned Officer In Charge) of Special Missions were always the senior CQB (Close Quarters Battle) Instructors. Most of my SNCOICs just left us (R&S) alone. All of the SNCOICs were good, but one stood out – Greg Terry.
GySgt Greg Terry was always stopping by our classrooms and ranges to see in we needed anything. He NEVER got in the way and never overstayed his welcome.
One night the MEU was about to conduct a helicopter raid on an urban target. We (Special Missions) were on the target ensuring everything was set up and ready for the hit. One of my instructors had set up a 3D target in a window right above where the DAP (Direct Action Platoon) would likely stack on their breach point. When I saw the target placement I asked my guy his thought process and he convinced me it was safe and worth the risk.
When Special Missions OIC (Officer In Charge) did his pre-raid walk through, to ensure safety, he about lost his mind when he saw the target placement. I had my instructor explain why he chose this shot set up and the Major was not buying it. I jumped in and tried to reason with him; no go – the Major was not buying it.
That is when out Special Missions SNCOIC, GySgt Greg Terry jumped in:
Greg: Sir, if SSgt Devaney says the shot is safe; it is safe.
OIC: No way, this is an unneeded risk. The target is only 2’ above the possible stack.
Greg: I would stand there right now and let them shoot; I trust them.
OIC: Got it Gunny; but no way.
Greg: Fine, I will be on the raid and I will get in the stack right below the window (Greg stood his ground).
OIC: Alright; DO NOT FUCK THIS UP!
When the raid force arrived, Greg jumped into the stack, right below the window, and bam – the Scout Sniper made a perfect shot through the mullion of the window and into the 3D targets face.
This is an example of a true leader; he not only put his money where his mouth was, he put his own life at risk, to show his trust in his Marines (my instructors, our shooters and ME).
To be honest we were all crossing our fingers until it was over. This is how as our urban sniper students got better.
The moral of the story: Some leaders can prove they trust their Marine with their life; Greg Terry did.
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