Roles in the Corps: Avionics
Nolen: Corporal Nolen, 6324, Avionicsman. Avionics is anything electrical in an aircraft, everything from light bulbs to lasers. An avionicsman basically troubleshoots all the electrical systems on the aircraft or anything communications, navigations, and weapons. On the weapons, I don't typically work on the actual bullets or the turret itself, but I work on the components that drive those weapons that tells the weapons where to go, what the target is. It's all part of a big picture. I fix the helicopter, the helicopter goes out and completes the mission. And that, to me, is the most important. It's a thinking job. I get to troubleshoot. I really put my head into things. It's all problem solving. As an avionicsman, I work with all the shops, fly line, air frames. We work hand-in-hand. Different systems call for different shops. But as an avionicsman, I'm able to see all the shops as one. Each Marine plays a role in a mission. Say on our side, I'll only see the helicopters, but I know that what happens is there's ground-side guys out there. They're on the ground, they're in the fight, and they make a radio call saying, hey, we need some help, send somebody to help us out. It's us on the air wing side fix the aircraft to make sure that that bird can go out there and complete the mission along with the ground side. We prepare for readiness, that's our job. If you told me right now I was going to Afghanistan, I'd pack myself and be ready. Readiness isn't just you have your things ready. It's are you mentally prepared to go out and do it? When I was out in Iraq, we'd hear the MEDEVAC alarm go off. I know that I fixed that system that allows that gun to shoot at the bad guys, or I fixed the helicopter that goes and picks up the guy that just got injured. I know he's coming out of the fight when he needs to be. I'm there to have that helicopter complete when it needs to happen to save some lives. I love being a Marine for the brotherhood. It's like a family. We really work together and I might not even have ever seen the man, but I know he's on the same side I am. We all know we're here. We know why we're here. A common purpose brings us all together.