First Marine Selected As SOCCENT’s Senior Enlisted Leader

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Master Gunnery Sgt. Andrew D. McCurry is the first Marine to be selected as the command senior enlisted leader of U.S. Special Operations Command Central and the second Marine to be selected as the senior enlisted leader for a Theater Special Operations Command. Master Gunnery Sgt. Jerome N. Root served as the first Marine CSEL for U.S. Special Operations Command South.

“Being selected to serve in a nominative CSEL position was something I strived to achieve,” said McCurry. “To serve as the first Marine to represent the Marine Corps as the command senior enlisted leader at Special Operations Command Central is an honor, and I feel very humbled to have this magnificent opportunity.”

A senior enlisted leader acts as an advisor to the commanding officer; as the unit’s senior most noncommissioned officer, they serve as the link between the commander and the enlisted service members under their charge. As the CSEL, McCurry will be able to advise the commanding officer on all matters regarding special operations that include issues regarding welfare, readiness, morale, proper utilization of forces and progress within the USSOCOM enterprise.

“The most effective way I can give back to the Marine Corps is through the illumination of my experiences and exposures within the SOF enterprise while simultaneous looking for opportunities to enhance service and SOF integration,” said McCurry. “Given my past and current position, I have the chance to share SOF ideas and perspectives while simultaneously bringing the Marine Corps’ assets viewpoint to certain situations.”

Being selected as the CSEL for a USSOCOM command is among the highest positions an enlisted Marine Raider can obtain external to the Marine Forces Special Operations Command due to the limited number of positions available within USSOCOM. To be considered for selection as a CSEL for USSOCOM, you must first serve a successful tour as the senior enlisted leader in an O-6 level command, graduate from the Joint Special Operations University Summit and hold a Special Operations Forces identification code or Military Occupational Specialty.

 “To serve as the first Marine to represent the Marine Corps as the command senior enlisted leader at Special Operations Command Central is an honor…”

-!Master Gunnery Sgt. Andrew D. McCurry, CSEL of SOCCENT

“SOF, by its nature, is inherently joint,” said McCurry. “A task force normally comprises all branches of services, from other SOF organizations, conventional forces, and sometimes allied partners. What makes Marine Raiders unique to the SOF enterprise is our Marine ethos and understanding. Although some might consider that cliché, it is no secret that Marines are known for their attention to detail and dedication to their mission.”

Prior to being selected as CSEL, McCurry was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment in 2002 after completing embassy duty. In June 2006, he was screened and selected for duty at MARSOC. McCurry has held billets such as the senior enlisted advisor of Marine Raider Support Group and the command senior enlisted leader for the Special Operations Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve.

“Every Marine Raider came from somewhere in the Marine Corps,” he continued. “That means he/she must have proven themselves as a highly competent NCO or officer before even attending selection. Consequently, we get seasoned well-rounded Marines before they even attend SOF-specific training. This is the core foundation of a Marine Raider, which makes us unique.”

McCurry has deployed all over the world including deployments in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Inherent Resolve. McCurry also holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Leadership and Master of Science in Strategic Leadership with honors from the University of Charleston.

“Being a CSEL as a Marine Raider is a mixture of science and art,” McCurry concluded. “Our experiences and culture allow us to apply both [science and art] effectively and appropriately. Thus, we provide the commander the opportunity to capitalize on our Marine background while still gaining years of SOF experience.”

Sgt Jesula Jeanlouis, Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command

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