NEW ORLEANS --
Geographically dispersed around the United States and other parts of the world are Marines who instruct and assist Selected Marine Corps Reserve units in order to maintain a continuous state of readiness. These Marines are serving on Inspector-Instructor duty.
I&I duty stations fall under Marines Forces Reserve’s four major subordinate commands. The Marines are stationed in the heart of communities and perform missions specific to their command and unit.
Working closely with the Reserve Marine leaders at their units, I&I Marines ensure that operations run smoothly and strive to keep the lines of communication open between active and Reserve Marines.
“I&I duty is a combination of active component Marines, active reserve Marines and SMCR units,” said the Deputy Branch Head of the Training and Readiness Division, MARFORRES, Anthony T. Davis. “The AC and AR Marines are the day-to-day personnel that run the unit itself, plan the weekend drills for the Reserve Marines and help to prepare for possible mobilization.”
Marines who are assigned I&I duty are highly proficient in their military occupational specialty and have the ability to work independently in the tasks asked of them. With a small number of Marines assigned to these unique billets, there are often numerous responsibilities expected of them than normal.
“To be assigned I&I duty you must come with a good recommendation from your command,” said Staff Sgt. Bruce W. Jones, administration chief, 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division. “They want to put good, solid and reliable Marines out at independent duty stations. They want to make sure that they get the best possible representation of the Marine Corps.”
Along with being recommended for I&I duty, Marines must also demonstrate that they will not be negatively affected by this assignment and are able to serve in an area with limited resources.
“It’s a challenging assignment and unlike being stationed on a base, there are not many resources available to the Marines,” Davis said. “They must fill out an independent duty checklist showing that they are financially stable before being assigned this duty.”
Although Marines at I&I duty stations have a very demanding position with often times overwhelming tasks at hand and limited means provided to them, they still have other Marines to lean on.
“The best thing about being on I&I duty is the camaraderie and the brotherhood,” Jones said. “The fact that you are such a small staff helps you build a stronger bond. It is a close and tight knit family of Marines taking care of each other.”
Marines serving I&I duty continue to support Reserve units and ensure that when the Reserve Marines come to train, they have everything they need to accomplish the mission.