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Lance Cpl. Stephen C. Benson
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (May 1, 2008) –
Seeking self improvement is an idea that is very familiar to Marines throughout the Corps. Most Marines are constantly looking to gain the knowledge and expertise necessary to move forward and tackle the next challenge. One Marine with Marine Special Operations Advisor Group, U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command has not only taken this idea to a whole new level but used his skills to improve those around him. Sgt. Jonathan P. Wrigley, individual skills and light infantry tactics instructor, Standards and Training, MSOAG, MARSOC, has attended more than 15 advanced schools and has held several instructor billets throughout his time in the Marine Corps. Using this wealth of knowledge and skill, he is able to teach the future advisors of MSOAG effectively and with credibility.
“If I tell a Marine to do something and I can’t do the same thing at a high level, then I will lose that credibility,” said Wrigley. “It’s all about leadership and putting yourself out there.”
Wrigley, who entered the Marine Corps as an infantryman, has deployed to Kosovo and Iraq on combat deployments. He says he came to MARSOC from 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, was screened and then proceeded to pass through assessment and selection in order to come to MSOAG. The advanced schools and special skills Wrigley had before even coming to MARSOC are what eventually put him into his current instructor billet.
“I have found that a lot of Marines are wary of advanced schools because some joined to get away from school,” explained Wrigley. “I think that schooling is the best thing you can do.”
Before Wrigley came to MARSOC he was a black belt Marine Corps Martial Arts Program Instructor, a Marine Corps Water Survival Instructor, and an instructor at the School of Infantry. He also attended two Jungle Warfare Training courses in Okinawa, Japan and a separate course at the Jungle Operations Training Center at Fort Sherman in Panama where, in addition, he received a Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape level ‘B’ qualification. All of this training, to include corporal’s and sergeant’s courses, occurred before he ever entered MARSOC.
“I guess I was really lucky,” said Wrigley. “Whenever an opportunity came up to go to a school, I was there volunteering for it.”
Wrigley works with the rest of the instructor cadre in the Standards and Training section of MSOAG. According to Wrigley, they are all a dedicated group of experienced and mature Marines that are highly motivated to be the best.
“The instructor cadre gets the opportunity to attend a lot of advanced training to keep our skills sharp,” said Wrigley. “We have this agreement that if we go to these schools, that we have to get the honor graduate or one of the top three spots at the end of the course.”
Capt. Ted A. Bucierka, individual skills officer in charge, S&T, MSOAG, leads the instructors and is proud of the work that Wrigley and his fellow instructors do.
“Wrigley is an outstanding Marine with a lot of experience,” said Bucierka. “He has a great work ethic and represents Marines and this section well when he leaves for these schools.”
Since coming to MARSOC, Wrigley has attended a Shooting Tactics Services advanced pistol marksmanship course, Boat Coxswain school, Tactical Combat Casualty Care course, Operational and Emergency Medical Skills Course, Deployed Emergency Medical Operative Care Course and gained a SERE level ‘C’ qualification.
“My favorite aspect about being at MARSOC is that I have been able to get so much training,” said Wrigley. “When Marines leave MARSOC and head back into the conventional Marine Corps, they are going to be able to bring all these skills to their new units.”
Wrigley is preparing to move on now from the Marine Corps. His extensive medical knowledge and the joy he finds practicing medicine will serve him well where he is headed. He plans to join the Army and become a special operations medical sergeant. This is a specific job that allows Wrigley to use warfare tactics and techniques when attending to wounded servicemembers.
“Wrigley has a lot of capabilities and he has brought a lot to this unit,” said Bucierka. “MARSOC will be sad to see him move on.”
“I will always be a Marine, and I will bring all the work ethic and determination I had in the Corps over to the Army Special Forces when I go,” explained Wrigley.