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A class of officers from the basic course at Communication Officers School in Quantico, Va., walk around an 8th Communications Battalion training exercise site here April 18. Before graduating, the officers are afforded the opportunity to see communications units in action.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Meg Varvil

Future leaders visit 8th Comm. Bn.

23 Apr 2008 | Lance Cpl. Meg Varvil

Books and computers aren’t the only learning tools new communications officers are utilizing.  Before graduating the basic course at Communication Officers School in Quantico, Va., students are afforded the opportunity to see communications units in action.

A class of 59 students, slated to graduate June 5, visited the 8th Communications Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, here April 18.

“This is a great opportunity for the junior officers to see what they’ve been learning in action, instead of static display,” said Lt. Col. Joseph Matos, the director of Communication Officers School.  “They get to speak with recent graduates, who help explain what their job entails.”

The officers received several briefs to familiarize them with the types of communications systems they would encounter.

“These visits genuinely help the students understand where they’re going and what they’ll do as junior communications officers,” said Capt. Jason Falivene, faculty advisor for the basic course.

The visiting officers appreciated the time they spent with the battalion.

“I worked with communications data for eight years before I decided to become an officer,” said 2nd Lt. Samantha Graves, who already received orders to the battalion.  “Even then, I never had the opportunity to see all the systems I’ve been able to during our visit.”

Some Marines also felt the trip would make them better leaders in the fleet.

“The briefs let you see things from the enlisted side,” Graves said.  “We see the Marines on the equipment and the officers conducting planning.  The knowledge is invaluable.”

Eighth Communications Battalion was one of five stops the students made in their two-day visit.  They also went to communications units at Marine Corps Special Operations Command, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, and Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.