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Roles in the Corps: Field Artillery

Santos: My name is Corporal Lawrence M. Santos. I have approximately three years in the United States Marine Corps. I'm a 0811, Artillery Cannon Crew. I am currently attached to the 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines, stationed out of Twentynine Palms, California. On a day-to-day basis, if we're not training out in the training area, we're doing preventative maintenance on our Howitzers, making sure they're ready to go; be able to shoot, and provide support for the other units in this area. I am the A chief, which means I run the section, and I make sure everything gets done for my section chief. And I am also the gunner; I make sure my Howitzer is traversed into the right direction so we can shoot. During combat operations, artillery's main mission is to provide firing support in our area of operations. Sometimes artillery support isn't necessarily needed 24/7, so we do infantry missions, as well. A lot of the skills required in our MOS are both physical and mental. We have a strenuous school and curriculum that we go through for a few months before we actually hit the fleet. Being a Marine means a lot to me. I served seven of my years as a Navy Corpsman with an infantry unit, and I looked up to those Marines. I saw how they carried themselves in combat and in training, and I started to value the legacy of the Marine Corps, the traditions. And eventually, I became a Marine myself.