Magazine article National Defense

U.S. Marine Corps Helps Romania Reform Top-Heavy Army

Magazine article National Defense

U.S. Marine Corps Helps Romania Reform Top-Heavy Army

Article excerpt

The Romanian military sought assistance from the U.S. Marine Corps to help set up a training school, in an effort to mass-produce non-commissioned officers. The plan is to train senior enlisted personnel to take over much of the decision-making duties and command functions.

By the end of this year, Romania will have 40,200 NCOs and warrant officers, a number that will outweigh three times the officer corps of 18,000. The total number of Romania's armed forces will be 112,000 by the end of 2003, according to government documents.

"The first problem was that we had to understand how to create the fighting NCO," that also is a leader, Col. Mihai Chirita told National Defense. Chirita runs the NCO school.

The school came to life in 1999 with the help of the U.S. Marine Corps, which provided training assistance.

The school trains the NCO in tactics, but also encourages them to choose a specialist track that they can use in the force or later in their civilian life.

Up to 600 students graduate from this school each year. It costs about $2,000 to put an NCO through training for one year, said Chirita.

Gunner Marius Postaliu took the drill instructor course at the U.S. Marine base in Quantico, Va.

"They teach you how to plan your time, how to do everything in five minutes. They taught us small details that we were not aware we could do in such little time," he said. "We learned new tactics, new physical training and close combat, which we will teach here as well."

They also have practiced survival in the water wearing all their equipment, something they had never done before, he said. …

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