Translators may be needed for almost 40 new members of the Idaho Army National Guard. They’re used to terms like “head” instead of “latrine,” “platoon commander” rather than “platoon leader,” and “Oorah” instead of “Hooah.”
That’s because they were all Marines until August when their reserve tank unit was deactivated as part of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger’s plans to modernize the corps by becoming a lighter force. The Marine Corps is divesting itself of its armor battalions and reducing its cannon artillery units.
They transferred to the Idaho National Guard mostly because they wanted to stay in the area and continue to work on tanks. By switching over, they will go from the M1A1 Abrams Main Battle Tank used by their former Marine Corps unit to the upgraded M1A2 model, officials said.
“I looked at all of my options and I knew I wanted to stay in Idaho because my family is here,” said Staff Sgt. Kyle Dycus, one of the Marines who transitioned into the Army Guard.
Brig. Gen. Farin Schwartz, commander of the Idaho Army National Guard, said they wanted to match their Marine Corps skills to comparable ones in the Army. He said they have the potential to make an immediate impact on their new unit because they’ve already proven to be successful in the military.
“Marines make excellent soldiers,” Brig. Gen. Schwartz said.
• Mike Glenn can be reached at email@example.com.
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