Photo Information

Navy Security Guard Training Course S-540-1012, Class 03-2021 graduates and their instructors pose for a group photo with Lt. Col. Tate Buntz, the MCB Camp Blaz Operations Officer, Daniel Brindley, the MCB Camp Blaz Deputy Provost Marshal, and their families after a graduation ceremony on U.S. Naval Base Guam, July 6, 2021. Anton Aguon, Austin Benavente, Jeff Chargualaf, Erano Cortez and Samantha Santos are the first police officers hired for MCB Camp Blaz. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Andrew King)

Photo by Cpl. Andrew King

Guam Locals Graduate from Navy Security Guard Training Course

7 Jul 2021 | Stanley James Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz

On July 6, 2021, five locally-hired police officers completed a four-week Navy Security Guard Training Course (NSGTC) held on Naval Base Guam and took their first steps into federal law enforcement. The course introduced the officers to military law enforcement, evidence handling, risk management, unarmed self-defense, and Mechanical Advantage Control Holds (MACH). Additionally, each officer qualified with the M9 pistol, M500 shotgun, and M4 carbine during training.

NSGTC Course S-540-1012, Class 03-2021 graduates Anton Aguon, of Agat, Austin Benavente, of Agat, Jeff Chargualaf, of Talofofo, Erano Cortez, of Dededo, and Samantha Santos, of Barrigada are the first five police officers hired by Marine Corps Base (MCB) Camp Blaz.

The police officers were hired in May of 2021 to serve at MCB Camp Blaz’s Provost Marshal Office, which provides physical security and law enforcement services for the installation.

Graduating from the Navy Security Guard Training Course is the first step new officers are required to complete during the initial training pipeline. New officers must also receive on-the-job training and complete the 12-week Uniform Police Training Program (UPTP) course before they are fully qualified and start working.

“Overall, it’s pretty good training,” said Benavente. “The instructors have a lot of knowledge and experience. Coming here, I can learn from people who have much more experience than I do.”

The oleoresin capsicum training was one of the most memorable experiences for Benavente. “Going through the stations and trying to stay in the fight while pepper sprayed was difficult,” he stated with laughter.

In addition to the desire to help others, the graduates all share a strong sense of camaraderie. “It’s more than that. It’s more like being family. I want you to go home to your family and I hope you do the same for me. You know, taking care of each other,” said Chargualaf. “It’s more than just working together.”

During the next phase of training, the graduates are headed to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) in Glynco, Georgia to complete the Uniform Police Training Program. The UPTP is an official Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation (FLETA) program.

Santos first became interested in becoming a police officer after speaking with an advisor at Guam Community College. “I just wanted to help people. I became attracted to the idea of becoming a police officer after learning more about the criminal justice program,” she said. Santos is interested in attending more courses after she finishes her initial training requirements.

FLETA programs adhere to strict professional law enforcement training standards and are officially recognized by federal organizations like the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and U.S. Marshals Service.

Aguon, a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient, still feels a strong desire to protect and serve. “For the officers here, all of us, this is home for us. Anything we can do to keep our home safe, I think that’s what good people do,” he said.

“Before I joined the Marine Corps, I wanted to be a teacher. Leading others for a good purpose, that’s what really gets me going,” said Aguon. “Since we are the first set of police officers, anyone who gets hired after us is going to look up to us. I want to prepare myself for that so I can teach them in the right way.”

MCB Camp Blaz will continue to hire qualified applicants during the buildup process. Federal jobs offer competitive pay, benefits, and many come with career advancement opportunities.

Job opportunities include everything from entry-level positions requiring no prior experience to specialized career fields requiring advanced education and years of expertise. Members of the local community are encouraged to apply for positions in their respective career fields.

“Everything is new to me because I don’t have a military or police background,” said Cortez. He recommends people interested in working for the federal government work on their resume and make sure they have a clean record. “Be thorough when you work on your resume. They’re looking for experience. And make sure you’re up to date on your bills. You will have a hard time getting hired if you owe a lot of money.”

New openings are listed on the federal government’s official employment website at https://www.usajobs.gov/. Applicants are encouraged to explore the Help Center and become more familiar with the federal hiring process.

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