PHD #282: Dedication and Initiative
Dedication and Initiative
Summary: Decumius meets his platoon leader.
Date: 05 Dec 2041 AE
Related Logs: None, really.
Decumius Vandenberg 
Security Hub
More than just an office for the Marines and their XO, this room has remote surveillance views of the Brigs as well as a state of the art communications center built into the far bulkhead. A locked and heavily armored door to the aft leads into another room, the white lettering on it reading 'ARMORY.' There are a few desks scattered around the room for getting necessary paperwork done and the Commandant's picture hangs on the wall next to one of the President.
Post-Holocaust Day: #282

Smartly dressed in a newly pressed (or tumble dried, more likely) CMC fatigue, Corporal Lucius Decumius enters the security office. His lower lip bulges outwards - must have some excess supply of dip, still.

Vandenberg is sitting at her desk in her combat blacks, minus the vest and helmet. She's probably just returned from off-ship again. A cigarette burns in an ashtray, smoke winding whisps as it rises. She's holding up a memo of some kind but eyeing it with some distinct disinterest. Probably not her preferred way to pass the time.

Decumius proceeds right over to where his new platoon commander is, giving her a nod and a grin. The grin looks a bit goofy with the big wad of chewing tobacco pushing his lip out like it does. "Evening, sir."

Vandenberg takes up the smoke and takes a drag from it lazily, tapping the ashes off. With Dec's greeting, she smirks up at him. "Evenin, Corporal. How's business for Dog One-Two tonight?" The woman still fingers the memo but seems itching for an excuse to put it down..which she decides isn't warranted and drops it back to the wooden top. "Sportin' some starch? Lookin good, Marine. Got a hot date?"

"I just learned the tricks of making it look nice, sir." Decumius says with a wink to Vandenberg. "Oh, we're pretty quiet as of now. I've been pretty busy with physio the last few days, haven't got a chance to meet the rugrats. I'll just assume that they're all good kiddies though and move on from there. What's my personal mission statement going to be? I'm not a Sergeant, so obviously not a primary instructor."

The woman settles back in the chair and listens, probably gracious for the distraction. She still holds the cigarette between the fingers of her right hand. "That all depends. I can read your listed file to the ends of space and time but its just facts and stats. They don't actually give much substance to the Marine." She upturns a palm and gestures towards a chair. "Pull it up. Tell me what you're looking for from yourself given your experience. I'd also be interested to hear what you're looking for from your Lieutenant." Probably not often an O3 makes offers like that.

"Honestly, I think this is a good transition for coming back from light duties and a broken leg, sir. I'll give the short version." Decumius grabs a seat at the desk, folding his hands in his lap. "I served three tours on Sagittaron, the last tour was when the bombs dropped. I got rescued by the Cerberus six months later with much of my platoon. I'm one of the Recon guys. I fought in the big Sagittaron Insurgency a few years back. I'm pretty good with recon stuff, I could help train with that. Scouting, taking down information properly, why things are seen…" He trails off.

"I know the feeling about Sag. I was there for seven years up at Camp Fox. Got pretty intimately acquainted with the problems there. Did most of my time with First Battalion, Seventy-Third Mountain. Helluva set of tours but I'm pretty sure I don't have to tell you about what its like." Natalie gives him a knowing smile. "So you're looking to get involved with training, then? Any interest in helping out with boot recruits or are you looking to keep your skillset focused more towards the sharpest part of the spear?"

"I'd like to say the latter, sir, but honestly I'll be useful wherever I'm needed. I'm not a very good trainer. That said, I have some knowledge that I think could be useful to some of the new guys. I'm not on light duties anymore, so if there's a chance to deploy on operations I'd jump at it, too." Dec points out.

Van shakes her head once and ashes the cigarette. "At this point I'm trying to get Dog's team and squad leaders settled into positions they want and can do the most damage in. Luckily we've got a solid balance already. If you're looking to focus your skillset in those areas, then I see now reason why it can't be done. Yourself and Sergeant Lysander have some training that would probably aid the Marines heavily for an AIT program, though I think the term is sorta defunct. We're all more or less cops or rifles anymore." She takes a drag of the smoke and stubs it out into the tray. "As for operations? I'll keep it in mind. As S-Three, I'll be planning most of the stuff we'll be getting into offensively and I don't submit plans I wouldn't lead myself. Lieutenant O'Hare from Able isn't much for the dirt so likely you'll be seeing myself or Lieutenant Lunair shifting mud with you and your fireteam." A pause. "Your doctors have you cleared for normal duty…when was the last time you marched a full ruck, Corporal?"

Decumius looks well pleased until Van drops that last question on him. He grits his teeth at it. "Three months. Since I been doing physio, though, lotta deadlifts, swings, stepups and box jumps with weight. My feet need to be broken again but that's minor. The break was clean and it healed well according to the doc but it's gonna hurt, no doubt about it. Life's pain." He grins.

Vandenberg nods a few times and smiles with the man's grin. "I know the feeling. Sometimes you just gotta bite the bullet." She settles back into the chair once more and lofts her brow. "Well how about this: Rather than subject you to PT every morning with everyone else, I'll spar with you. No pressure to meet the times and quotas and we can go at a pace that won't injur you further. Work out as you need in your free time. I'll hump a thirty-five pound ruck with you on Wednesdays and Fridays at increasing distances. Start with three miles and end at twelve at the end of three weeks. Sound like something you can live with?"

"Yep. Honestly, rucking's always been a strong point of mine so I just gotta get my stride back on and I should be good, sir. But it'd be nice to have someone to ruck with regularly." Decumius says, nodding in agreement at his platoon commander.

"Heh. Marching alone is a punishment. Marching with someone is a team effort. I ain't shy in admitting I could probably use the workout, myself. Most of my gear I've had over the years was real light weight." Vandenberg chuckles, maybe a little embarrassed at the admission. A long breath leaves her and she looks back to him. "So, what are you looking for in a platoon leader, Corporal? Other than someone who isn't going to run off or freeze up when things get hard."

"Someone who interacts with the troops and ain't afraid to get dirty. Especially for the new guys, that's a huge thing. Having a good platoon commander at the beginning can really define how a new guy develops in the first couple of years, I find. Confidence in higher command and all." The Corporal chuckles.

His CO listens attentively. This is probably information she takes seriously. If she's soliciting opinions like this, chances are good its something she takes to heart. "Agreed with all of it. I'll do my best to live up to the expectations." Her hands clasp. "What I want out of my team leaders are men and women who are not afraid to take initiative when it counts. Interactions with their junior Marines aren't too much of my concern until non-commissioned officer status and squad leaders. I also consider pride and personal expectations to be set high for them. And above all? More than anything else? I value the hell out of intelligent Marines. If you're looking to take Sergeant's stripes anytime soon then I expect it to be lived up to. That a goal for you, Corporal?"

Decumius shrugs. "My goal is to be useful where ever I need to be. Honestly, having good Sergeants is damned important, and I know we're low on them. That said, if I'm needed as a Corporal, then I'm fine with that. My old unit was very relaxed, when it came to day to day. There was a lot of interplay between the junior guys, the NCOs and the officer in Reconnaissance Platoon which I think made it best. Initiative and using your head was the most valued thing, and I think those kind of traits are what makes the difference between a good platoon and a superb one, sir."

"We are low on them. But we also need strong Team Leaders. I'm not going to parse thistle on which one is more important since one is paralyzed without the other. A T-L can't be expected to sub-in for a squad leader all the time and a squad leader can't be everywhere at once. But strong squad leaders are harder to find since it takes a certain finesse." Vandenberg talks with the slow, determined pace of an officer who has spent years doing the same job. Whether or not that is a good thing is left for Decumius to decide. "I ran a special troops platoon for nearly six years. I have no patience for Marines who can't think for themselves and do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done. If you so decide that you want to be a squad leader, I look for dedication and selfless service to the men and women under you. You get the stripes but I want no confusion about who works for who. I don't do this job because I like shiny shit. I do this job because I believe in sweating and bleeding for my Marines. Understand what I mean?"

Decumius nods at Van. Judging by his expression, he's on board with that, but has nothing to add.

Van returns the nod and looks back to her desk. She taps a finger lightly on the edge of her desk a few times before looking back to Decumius. "That's essentially what I want. I try not to be a hardass. I think we've all got better things to do than listen to another officer with something to prove. If you ever have any kind of issues you need to discuss, come talk to me privately. I'll make the time, anytime. If you have ideas, same. I've done this job too damned long to think I know everything." She smiles. "Made the first year interesting, though!" There's another laugh at her own expense, a soft sigh leaving her at the end. "So. Any questions for me? Anything at all? As for your mission statement, I'd prefer you write one and submit it to me. We can go over it before we really kick it over en force."

"No questions. But I like the way you're presenting this, sir." Decumius concedes.

The Lieutenant flashes another smile and nods. "I aim to please or kill. Prefer the former..most of the time." The expression on her face turns a little more feral but the look is fleeting. "Anyhow, I should plan to see you tomorrow morning at zero-six-thirty then? Meet down in the Athletics Room for some mutual ass-kicking. Best way to start the day. Don't feel obligated to hang around here, either. If you've got something or someone you need to do, you're dismissed at your leisure, Corporal." She says it all so matter-of-factly.

"Roger, sir. Yeah, hand to hand." There is a somewhat displeased look at those three words, but Decumius shrugs it off. His face has gotten a slightly ashen pallor, which quickly goes away returning the man's complexion to normal. "I'll see you around then, sir. Tomorrow it is."

"Copy that. Check your corners, Corporal." There's a hard nod as she finishes, a smile flirting with her face as well. Vandenberg watches the Marine stand to go and then turns her attention back to whatever nonsense she was reading before.

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