MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
All eyes were on the interpreter as he reached into his pocket to answer an unknown call. The instructor quickly realized the action and subtly reframed from divulging too much information, but by that time it was too late.
The scenario ended with GySgt. Kim A. Wingfield, an instructor with Marine Corps Security Cooperation Group, explaining to the team of 1t Law Enforcement Battalion Marines what possible concerns might have occurred throughout that situation.
The Marines of 1st LEB learned new basic engagement skills while attending Operational Environment Training aboard Camp Pendleton, California, May 27-29, 2015.
Wingfield, a Northeast Asia lead for the Pacific regional coordination liaison assessment training team, MSCG, at Joint Expeditionary base Little Creek-Fort Story, Virginia Beach, Va., explained the importance of knowing the surroundings and keeping track of the interpreter.
“The purpose of MCSCG is to talk over Pacific Command security cooperation as well as work with students and with the Marine Corps on how to engage in the PACOM environment,” said Wingfield. “We also try to discuss how to effectively communicate from the perspective of a United States Marine with people in the Pacific community.”
Sessions such as communication through an interpreter, hip pocket practice application and interacting with media were taught to the 1st LEB Marines. The training aimed to enhance basic engagement skills needed to better prepare the Marines for future exercises and deployments.
“Although, the communication through an interpreter lesson seemed a bit silly and a worst case scenario, things such as an interpreter compromising information can be a very real thing,” Wingfield said. “Just because they are qualified and went through numerous amounts of screening, doesn’t mean you can truly tell their intensions.”
Wingfield also said that a Marine doesn’t necessarily have to censor everything he or she says, their job is to provide, inform and share information with the community while also ensuring that only the information needed is delivered.
The Marines learned practices that will help them better operate and feel more comfortable in a deployed environment, such practices can be as important as physical fitness when getting down to business.
“I enjoyed how they gave pointers on how to interact and engage with interpreters. The instructors provided visuals and made sure to explain through topics which made it easier for me to fully understand what they’re teaching,” said Lance Cpl. Chantel M. Paul, a military policewoman with Bravo Company, 1st LEB.
“I can say I definitely feel more confident in my abilities to properly conduct myself and interact with and interpreter or even media.”
The Marines of 1st LEB continue to train to stay ready and relevant while enhancing their ability to work and communicate effectively with partner forces, which is a key factor in enabling cohesion and trust not only among the American people, but those allies as well.