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Roles in the Corps: LAVs

Grandprey: My name is Sergeant Alex Grandprey and I'm an 0313 LAV crew. I started out as a driver and I moved up to gunner for deployment and then now I'm a vehicle commander. When I started out, I was basically responsible for maintaining the vehicle and providing a smooth and stable platform while the vehicle is moving for the gunner to be able to operate from. When I moved up to the gun, I wasn't only responsible for the turret, but I was also responsible in training the driver to make sure that he was upkeeping the vehicle properly. Now that I've moved up to vehicle commander position, it's my job to ensure that the gunner is taking care of his piece and also assisting in training both of the Marines into their positions so that they're able to succeed in the future. On the crew, the relationship that we share, we have to be tight. If there's one piece that is missing from the puzzle, then the vehicle as a whole is going to fail. So everybody needs to be doing their part. Ideal missions for light-armed vehicle crewmen is any form of reconnaissance in front of the battalion landing team. They're pretty much the fastest land vehicles the United States Marine Corps has. They're rated at 62.2 miles per hour. A lot of the vehicles will travel faster than that, but that's what the slowest one will travel. Additionally, one light-armored reconnaissance company will carry more fire power than an entire infantry straight-leg battalion. So if you combined maneuverability with fire power, there's no match for us. With any type of reconnaissance, our mission isn't to go out and seek and destroy. It's more or less to go out, engage targets within capability, but also provide a layout of the terrain and obstacles that the platoon landing team would come across as they were moving up. With the Marine Corps being as small as it is, it does rely heavily on everybody upholding their part, be it from a guy in the air wing to a guy on the deck in Iraq or Afghanistan. Everybody's piece comes together. A mission that really defined for me that I absolutely love my job was at Twentynine Palms going through the combined arms effects, you had the entire company of LAVs rolling and working together, we were calling in air artillery, and there's no other unit that's made to fight like we are. We prepare for readiness by constantly training, always maintaining the vehicles and always maintaining the mindset that we're the first to fight. I love being a Marine because there's nothing else I was made to do. We are the force in readiness.