Roles in the Corps: Air Traffic Control/Air Support
Johnson: Sergeant Johnson. I'm an Air Traffic Controller for the United States Marine Corps. In the Marine Corps, an Air Traffic Controller is responsible for issuing safety alerts, making sure that aircraft take off and land safely. We're responsible for giving traffic alerts. The Marine Corps Mobile Team is the MMT and that consists of six people, four controllers, a comm check and a NAV-ACE(?) tech. We go out into the field, we can get dropped off anywhere, we set up runaways or LZs, landing zones for helo's to come in, land, get fuel, or drop off troops. As far as air traffic control, you get trained either in the tower or in radar. And if you go in the tower like I did, we had a data position which was pretty much our coordinators, our ground position, he talks to aircrafts that taxi and marshal and move on the ground. Local, he talks to aircraft in the sky flying around and then supervisor and he just monitors everybody and makes sure everybody does their job right. It's important for us to have all this training and knowledge to apply at a split second because if we don't, somebody could die. Simple as that. I was stationed in Iwakuni(?), Japan, for two years. In the beginning I was just a basic air traffic controller training. They saw that I was good at my job, so they pushed me ahead through the local track to become a local controller. After that, I became a supervisor and then I was in charge of my tower. What I love about my job is the responsibility I have, the trust that people instill in me to perform my job. I love that. I mean, when it comes to serving my country, I don't think I'd be doing anything else. I think this is the best job in the Marine Corps because you get challenged every day. You're going to go through rigorous training. You have responsibility that few people have. You are held to a higher standard of learning, being able to apply yourself. You have to have the moral courage. You've got other people's lives in your hand. What makes me most proud about being a Marine is the legacy of tradition, esprit de corps, a sense of belonging. Teamwork in the Marine Corps, I mean, that's like the foundation for everything. Me and my team, we're pretty much like a little family now. We have the appearance of being the best, well, that's because we are the best. In the long run, you'll have such a deep sense of accomplishment. You'll love being a Marine every day.