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Grunt to marksman instructor; Corporal excels on range

By Cpl. Kat Johnson | | October 15, 2004

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He re-enlisted on the roof top of the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and defended Khandahar Air Base, Afghanistan, but now he trains other Marines  on how to properly fire  the M-9 pistol for their annual qualification.

Corporal Troy A. Krapf, squadron training clerk, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron has been a Marine for almost five years deploying more than three times to combat zones to fight the War on Terror.

“Some of my best memories in the Corps are driving my (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle)  from Kabul to Baghram,” Krapf said. “It was during these rides I gained the most respect for leaders in the Marine Corps.”

When Krapf would go on Humvee missions, he was customarily accompanied by  his company gunnery sergeant or commanding officer. During their drives, Krapf would listen to their opinions of the Corps and learn how much a good leader cares about his troops.

“Even though we were in a foreign country, performing a dangerous job, these men still behaved admirably,”  Krapf said. “I think those rides helped me to see more than just one side of the Corps.”

Although Krapf re-enlisted to a different Military Occupational Specialty and departed from his unit, he  carried over his Espirit de Corps when he arrived aboard the Air Station.

“Krapf has an intensity in him that all Marines should have,” said Staff Sgt. William Costello, squadron training staff non-commissioned officer, H&HS. “He has great self-discipline and I know when he’s assigned a job, it will get done.”

This intensity and dedication is what Costello believes lead Krapf to his latest accomplishment.

“A few weeks ago, Krapf proved himself again,” said Sgt. Joseph Benton, training clerk, H&HS  . “He was sent to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island for a marksmanship class and swept everyone else under the carpet.”

For two weeks, Krapf  participated in the Marksmanship Instructor course aboard PI. He went to the class to become qualified as a marksmanship instructor, but left as the honor graduate for the course.

“I did not really expect to come away with honor grad,” Krapf said. “I’m just happy I was able to complete the course and be an instructor.”

During the course, Krapf and other Marines from MCRD learned the fundamentals of marksmanship, the effects of weather and procedures surrounding the M-16A2 service rifle and M-9 pistol.

“It’s kind of funny that I am an instructor,”  Krapf said. “The first time I fired a weapon was  in the military.”

Since joining the military, the Harrisburg, Penn. native has taken up marksmanship, joined the National Rifle Association and purchased a recreational glock  Model 23 .40 caliber pistol.

“When you first meet Krapf, you would not think he has accomplished so much,” Benton said. “He doesn’t really talk about his days with 3rd  Battalion, 6th  Marines. In fact, he usually just smiles and talks about stories he heard from veterans.”

For the next three years, Krapf will be a marksmanship instructor at the pistol range aboard the Air Station. He plans to become a primary marksmanship instructor so he can help more Marines with range firing.

“He’s a great Marine to have on the team,” Costello said. “No one has to talk to Krapf about doing his job. He just goes out there and gets it done.”
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