Today we’ll be speaking with Nathaniel Hall. This gentleman was a part of Surveillance and Target Acquisition platoon.
**What made you want to make this move as you were already an Infantry Marine?
Honestly, I joined the Marines because I knew nothing about the military but always loved the Special Forces mentality and training. After realizing I couldn’t lateral move out of my battalion, Scout Snipers was the next best move to make.
**What was indoctrination like and how challenging was it for you both mentally and physically?
The indoc was extremely sleep deprived, mentally and physically draining. We started off running a PFT which was a 3-mile timed run which had to be done under 19 minutes. Then we ran 10+ miles after while conducting a gear inspection in between all of this. Then we had to head out to the field where the rest of the training began. We conducted a lot of land navigation, mission planning, classes, physical training and stalking movements.
** What are Marines like in S.T.A. Platoon??
For the most part they are A-Type personalities which to me is a combination of mentally and physically tough individuals, peak conditioning, motivated, leaders and team players.
** Explain the difference between P.I.G.’s –&– H.O.G.’s
P.I.G.S: Professionally Instructed Gunmen
H.O.G.S: Hunter of Gunmen.
HOGS are school trained snipers where PIGS are taught by the HOGS throughout their time in the STA Platoon.
** In S.T.A. you work in smaller teams when patrolling, explain the rationale behind this?We work in smaller teams because we conduct most of our missions over night. You need to be able to be agile and tactical which calls for smaller teams.
** Please tell us the story behind your Purple Heart…
Honestly, this link (2/8 Scout Snipers) does a better job explaining this than I can. Due to a concussion and severe hearing loss led to the Purple Heart.
** Do you feel you’ve been taken care of as far as education and medical benefits since your EAS from Marines?
Education, VA and benefits has always been a hot topic. One of the things I learned the quickest when I was getting out of the Marines was that no one is going to do their job so you need to get what is yours. This simply means whatever you are entitled to then follow through with those claims. I have pursued my bachelors thanks to my benefits and currently in school for my masters as well thanks to my benefits.
** What are your true thoughts on the services aimed to help veterans transition to civilian life??
There is still a lack for these services, however there are plenty of motivated individuals who have paved the way for other veterans. It is up to the veteran to seek these services and do not stop until you get what is yours.
** 22 Veterans commit suicide per day. Hence the hashtag #22 what are your thoughts and how can we prevent more suicide attempts??
There are groups out there trying to fight this but this is a battle that is hard to fight due to mental illnesses. However, as a band of brothers we can call each other monthly, text, email and facebook one another in order to maintain communication. SITREPS are always essential to weekend libo, training operations and team unity.
** Advice to Marines who want to go S.T.A. platoon???
Be able to carry more than 70+ lbs, have a good PFT score, understand the fundamentals behind land navigation, be a team player, be proficient in field craft and marksmanship.
** Last question, what was your PFT score and can you still put those same numbers up??
My PFT score was always around 290 but unfortunately I could never get that one-two last pull ups. Beats me as I have always trained for the pull-ups and lifted weights as well.
I appreciate your time in this interview. As well as your sacrifice for this country, thank you.
Isaac J. Hall II