Roles in the Corps: Aviation Maintenance Officer
When I was a kid I never thought for a minute that I'd be in the United States Marine Corps. I joined the Marine Corps in 1999 and have been doing Aircraft Maintenance ever since.
I'd always been interested in military service. Coming in, I was sent to the prowler squadron to be the Maintenance Material Control Officer. As far as training, you go through a two-month course for Aviation Maintenance. After that, I was sent here up to Cherry Point and went over to MALS, the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron.
We're based out of 29 Palms, California. We're out here near Yuma, Arizona, supporting the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course.
Helicopters, fixed-wing aircraft and even unmanned aircraft, like the Shadow that we work with out here. So with the UAVs, you're able to see the results of your actions. We send out our UAVs over the battlefield, and they're able to take reconnaissance and provide that video feed directly to the Marines on the ground. It gives us the feeling, when we're providing that information to the guys on the ground, that we are really making a difference.
One of the things that makes the Marine Corps special: we have Marine Expeditionary Units. We sent helicopters off the boat into Sri Lanka to take 'em food and aid. And it was just nice to know that we we're helping out in their time of need. It's nice to kinda have that peace of mind that we are actually making a difference in people's lives.
It might take a little while to get used to, but once you put on this uniform, once you've got this Eagle, Globe and Anchor on your uniform, that's what you are. You are a United States Marine.