Roles in the Corps: AAV Officer
[Capt Lynn Berendsen]:
I'm a 1803 Amphibious Assault Vehicle Officer. Essentially I'm in charge of the Marines that take the amphibious assault vehicle from the ship to the shore and then provide heavy machine gun support to the infantry inland and anywhere else they want to go. It's designed specifically for driving off the back of a ship, floating in under power to a beach, landing on a beach that may be opposed by hostile forces with people shooting at you. And then moving inland anywhere to 300 miles inland on a tank of gas. You have a crew of three Marines that drive and operate the vehicle. And then about 20 combat loaded in the back that you're supporting.
You might patrol for eight hours or so in a day with very little breaks in a hot, sweaty environment with all kinds of protective gear on. At the end of your rotation, you'll come back and you have probably two hours of maintenance work to do to make sure your vehicle is ready to go the next day, then sleep for the night and get briefed the next morning and start all over again.