Roles in the Corps: Enlisted Aircrew
Thompson: Lance Corporal Thompson. I'm the CHP3(?) Echo Crew Chief. As crew chief of my aircraft on the ground I'm the main maintainer. I'm in charge of a multi-million-dollar aircraft. I basically inspect all over the aircraft. If there's a part of it that's not right, whether it be from a fuel leak or hydraulic leak, and if the aircraft needs something done, a new upgrade, I make sure it gets done. In the sky I'm a safety observer. I make sure that we're clear each side and on the back, make sure we get on the right points and we land safely. If the President needs us to go anywhere, any time, we can have Marines on the ground, on call 24/7. One moment I felt proud of what I do was when I got the word that I may have my name on an aircraft. I come from a small town in Mississippi, not having much. Kids may say, oh, this is not yours. Where's your name at on it? And I've got my name on a helicopter now. I'm looking forward to more experience, combat experience. We could go anywhere and take on any mission, whether it be to provide food to some starving country or to kick in doors in Afghanistan. One reason to become a Marine is that it's the best job that America has to offer. People back home, you just tell them that I have the best job in the Marine Corps. You can come in for the purpose of serving your country. While you're serving your country, you learn so much. Serving my country is everything to me. They gave me so much, why shouldn't I want to give some back?