1/6 squad leader brings valuable experience to Ramadi

18 Nov 2006 | Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr.

Whether leading Marines in combat situations or training a foreign military, Sgt. Jonathan W. Piel has the experience necessary to get the job done.

Currently serving as a squad leader for Company C, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment in Ar Ramadi, Iraq, Piel uses his experience to lead his Marines alongside Iraqi Security Forces providing stability in the city.

As an infantryman of more than seven years, Piel has acquired a wealth of knowledge and leadership know-how that has proven valuable to his company’s operations.

“He is what a sergeant should be,” said Capt. Jody E. White, 34-year-old commander of Company C. “His leadership is derived from experience and he has a lot to draw from.”

Prior to his deployment to Iraq, Piel spent the majority of his early years in the Corps conducting infantry training operations in various countries.

During multiple training deployments, Piel conducted jungle warfare operations at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Okinawa, Japan; participated in rescue and insertion operations with special forces from the Navy and Air Force in Hawaii; and spent more than a month leading patrols through the de-militarized zone of Korea.

“He’s been everywhere and done just about everything an infantryman can do,” said Cpl. Jared J. Prewitt, 22-year-old designated marksman in Piel’s squad.

After obtaining extensive knowledge of infantry tactics and procedures in his training, Piel was called upon to share his experiences.

As part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit, Piel spent months assisting in the training of military forces from the Philippine Islands, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Australia and Indonesia.

The experience of training foreign forces has proven invaluable to operating alongside Iraqi Security Forces for security and stability operations, said Piel, a native of New Iberia, Louisiana.

“I find it easier to integrate the ISF with my squad because I’ve done it with so many different forces in the past,” said Piel.

In addition to providing increased abilities with Iraqi Forces, Piel’s experiences have served to solidify his role as a leader in the company, said White, a native of Pittsburgh, Penn.

As a former School of Infantry instructor, many Marines rely upon Piel as a valuable source of infantry knowledge.

His informed presence as a leader has made him well respected amongst the Marines of Company C, said Prewitt, a native of Neenah, Wis.

“He may only lead a squad, but there’s not one Marine in this company that doesn’t look at him as a leader,” said White.