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Military

By USMC LCpl. Tommy Bellegarde

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Gunny Glew: the Adhesive That Keeps India Company Together
(May 12, 2010)

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Marjah, Afghanistan (MCN - 5/6/2010) — Gunnery Sgt. Jason Glew is a workhorse. He serves as the company gunnery sergeant for India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, and thrives at juggling multiple tasks at once as India Company fights the Taliban insurgency in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan.

As India's company gunnery sergeant, Glew serves as the company's logistician. He is also responsible for delivering all supplies, including food, water, clothing and supplies to India's Marines out on the frontlines. The 34-year-old also spends time mentoring India Company's platoon sergeants, having had prior experience in that billet earlier in his Marine Corps career.

First Sgt. Edwin Mota (right), the company first sergeant of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, stands in front of the India Co. ''Mustang'' sign with Gunnery Sgt. Jason Glew, the India Co. gunnery sergeant, at India Company's operating base in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 23, 2010. Glew, from Pittsburgh, fought in the legendary battle of Fallujah in 2004 and has used that experience to lead his Marines during Operation Moshtarak.
First Sgt. Edwin Mota (right), the company first sergeant of India Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, stands in front of the India Co. ''Mustang'' sign with Gunnery Sgt. Jason Glew, the India Co. gunnery sergeant, at India Company's operating base in Marjah, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 23, 2010. Glew, from Pittsburgh, fought in the legendary battle of Fallujah in 2004 and has used that experience to lead his Marines during Operation Moshtarak.
"It's hard to explain all the different roles and things [Glew] does to make the entire company successful," said 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 is something he finds 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," said Glew. "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, affectionately known as "Gunny" by his fellow Marines, is no stranger to combat either, having fought in the legendary 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," said the Pittsburgh native. "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 fulfill his role as India Co. gunnery sergeant and lead his Marines in Marjah.

"Falling back on experiences in Fallujah helped me know what [our Marines] needed to be both mentally and physically prepared for [during Operation Moshtarak]," said Glew. 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 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 each of India 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," said Glew. "I talked with them and showed them how to put the intensity of the fight aside."

Glew's Marines have responded to his leadership, from platoon sergeants to junior enlisted.

"Gunny Glew has so much wisdom to pass," said Pfc. Anthony Cotto, a rifleman who works with Glew on a daily basis. "He's the jack-of-all-trades for the company."

His ability to be India Company's jack-of-all-trades 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," said Hefty, from Charleston, S.C. "He's completely pro-active, all the time."

"He does it all," said Cotto, from Bronx, N.Y. "The guy is awesome."

Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Tommy Bellegarde
Regimental Combat Team 7
Copyright 2010

Reprinted from Marine Corps News

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