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Major Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, commanding general, Regional Command Southwest, speaks to noncommissioned officers aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Aug. 5, 2012. Major Gen. Gurganus spoke to the Marines to keep them informed about the Marine Corps’ evolving role in Afghanistan.

Photo by Cpl. Ed Galo

Commanding general talks to SNCOs, NCOs

9 Aug 2012 | Cpl. Ed Galo

The commanding general for Regional Command Southwest spoke to the noncommissioned officers aboard Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Aug. 5 and the staff NCOs Aug.4.

Major Gen. Charles M. Gurganus updated the Marines about the current state of operations in Afghanistan, troop drawdowns and what to expect in the coming months as coalition forces continue to transfer security responsibility to Afghan forces.

“They’re fighting side by side with us,” he said. “That’s a pretty big step. It takes time to grow.”

He added that Afghan forces still need Marines for some combat support roles including medical evacuations, but Afghans are working to develop those capabilities.

After Maj. Gen. Gurganus spoke to the Marines, sailors and coalition partners, he opened the floor up to questions.

One Marine asked what the general wants NCOs to take care of after returning home from Afghanistan.

“Spend more time with the junior Marines,” even after normal work hours, he said. “You’re job as NCOs is to identify problems with junior Marines. You have to try and solve them, and if it’s something you can’t solve, move it up the chain of command as soon as possible.”

Major Gen. Gurganus said today’s Marine NCOs are the best group of NCOs he’s ever seen.

Maj. Gen. Gurganus ended the town hall by talking about the progress made in Afghanistan, the approximately 140 schools built in Helmand province and how Afghan Forces have been taking over security responsibilities. He said he’s proud of all Marines and the role they’ve played in those successes.

“I don’t care what your job is here,” he said. “You’ve helped out.”

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