This year’s Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Intramural Shooting Matches are scheduled for Sept. 22 to Oct. 10 and the installation’s Marksmanship Training Unit encourages all who are int…
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - To be evaluated by a board of your superiors on knowledge, drill, physical fitness and military appearance is no easy task, but the opportunity for accelerated advancement to the next level of leadership is well worth the ordeal for those who are willing to endure the test. Meritorious promotion boards afford Marines that chance.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Stewart began his journey into the world of mixed martial arts with American Freestyle Karate at the age of four. He participated in point-fighting and continued with karate for 13 years before delving into boxing and kickboxing. Stewart has trained in several martial arts such as Muai Thai, Kenpo-based Karate, submission wrestling and jiu jitsu over the 19 years he has been training. He is currently a member of the Fight Club 29 MMA Team aboard the Combat Center.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - As the red curtain at the Combat Center’s Sunset Cinema was drawn, the spotlights illuminated iconic American celebrities, known worldwide for positively impacting the lives of children for more than 45 years. The theatre was filled with Marines, sailors, spouses and their children, who were there not just to enjoy an afternoon of entertainment, but to better understand the story of the military child through song, dance and Jim Henson’s brightly colored Muppets. The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families performed one of four shows for the Combat Center, Aug. 9, 2014 “Today we had a free show for military families,” said Nicole McClendon, Tour Manager, Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families. “This show lets military children know that the USO and Sesame Street are here for them and we understand that they make great sacrifices.” The plot of the show was brought to life in 2011 and was specifically designed for military children. “This show centers around a very special Muppet named Katie, who happens to be a military child herself,” McClendon said. “In the show, she’s just found out that her family is about to move to another base, which is something that all military families go through. Katie is very nervous about this, but she talks to (the Sesame Street characters) and they teach her how to stay in touch with the friends she’s already made and how to make new friends.” Two teams of volunteers from the Bob Hope USO Palm Springs came to assist the tour’s visit to the Combat Center at all four showings, two on Aug. 8 and two on Saturday. “This is beneficial to our military families in that they are always moving and it’s the children (who) take the brunt of it sometimes,” said Teresa Cherry, Center Manager, Bob Hope USO Palm Springs. “It can be very difficult because they are the new kid in school and it can be hard to make new friends. (The character) Katie helps the military child because they can relate to her.” Sesame Street and the USO have collaborated on projects like this for many years and progressively tailored their mission to meet the needs of their military fan base. They began with a project called, ‘Talk, Listen and Connect,’ a DVD series for military families, which originated from Sesame Street’s Military Families Initiative. In 2008, they partnered with VEE Corp., responsible for arena tours like Sesame Street Live, and they created the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families. “It’s great because Sesame Street obviously understands kids and the USO understands military families,” McClendon said. This is the second version of this show. In 2008, Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families performed their first show ever at the Sunset Cinema and that version of the show focused on the effects a deployment has on military families and how children could cope with a parent being gone for a long time. In 2011, the show was changed to its current format in order to broaden the focus to a topic that all military families experience; a Permanent Change of Station. “I think it’s important to know that people like (those with) Sesame Street are behind the military,” Cherry said. “They do understand that it’s tough on the children and it’s tough on the family.”
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – British Royal Marines, with United Kingdom Amphibious Forces, participated in Large Scale Exercise 2014 aboard Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Aug. 8-14, 2014.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - A crowd of families slowly gather at the edge of the parking lot as a white bus begins to come into view. Family members begin waving American flags and signs that read “Welcome Home” as the sound of the bus's breaks pumping begin an uproar of cheering from families eager to see their Marines. As the bus door opens, Marines who have returned from deployment rush to embrace their loved ones and the two groups merge into one.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - “The Marine looked me straight in the eyes and said, I’ll make sure you get home safe, don’t worry sir,” said Sam Fedele, comedian. “It really hit me at home. I was just doing a show for them in Iraq and he was protecting me from anything that might harm me. To think this is what they do every day is truly amazing. Performing and making them smile is the least I can do.”
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - A gray truck slowly comes to a stop at a checkpoint where military policemen are conducting vehicle searches. The moment the vehicle is ready, military working dog Colli leaps out of the police vehicle and begins sniffing his way through the truck while guided by his handler.
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - A crowd of family and friends gathered to honor the life of Bobby Kirchner during a memorial held at Luckie Park in Twentynine Palms, California, Saturday.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Coordinates are communicated between members of a fire support team and relayed back to the support aircraft. The pilot’s voice is heard through the speaker of the radio: “10 seconds till impact.” The room falls silent as a puff of smoke rises in the distance, signaling the forward observer to indicate a hit with the word, “splash.”
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Albers is currently a cultural resources specialist at the Combat Center's Curation Center. She is also a fan of fashion, sports cars, and participated in the Clinton Campaign in the 90's. I grew up in an oil town so there was a lot of money because of people in the oil business. I grew up going to a public high school that was fabulous. I had a fabulous education I also went through a lot of tornados but it was a very good experience growing up there. I have always liked to read and I have always been into cars. My dad gave me a car when I was 16. It was a red Fiat convertible and then i got an MGA convertible. After that, i got into sports car racing. I didn’t actually do the racing but I went along. I went to a lot of races. I would say my dad is the one who got me into cars. He loved buying and selling cars. He would buy a car, fix it up, and then sell it. I really miss it. I am no longer involved but it was very exciting. When I was learning to drive stick shift, I was with my younger brother, and I ended up stalling the car in the middle of an intersection while making a left turn. I couldn’t get it started and my brother got so upset that he got out of the car and walked home. I ended up attending the University of Tulsa and I worked in retail. I managed a small women’s store. My major was liberal arts. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do back then. I got married and was moving around with my husband, so I didn’t really choose a career until I was about 26. I really loved the fashion world; it was really exciting to me. It started me on a route to good costumer service and good communication. It really taught me that you never know, by looking at someone, who or what they are and that you should treat everyone the same. I started working with animals once I moved to Monterey, Calif. It all started because I started volunteering. A position opened up and it kind of all went from there. I wrote some volunteer manuals and worked with wild life. I have always had animals. I currently have three dogs and five cats and most of them are rescues. All but one, I found on my own when I was out and about. I started working for environmental organizations. I had the opportunity to work in the Clinton Campaign and other local political campaigns. I really enjoyed it and it made me realize the political system. I continued volunteering until about 2003. I then became the director of a program to raise money for education and scientific research for sea otters. I loved it and continued doing it for about four years. In 2007, I got a job with Defenders of Wildlife and moved here. My job was to raise awareness of the desert tortoise. Once my contract ended, I got my job here aboard the base. I was very excited coming into my job with Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. It was similar but different to my other jobs. It gave me a chance to see a different side of archaeology. We started the gardens out here, which I always enjoyed gardening. I was still able to talk to people about wildlife. I can do this for fun. To me, this job is very fun. I was amazed coming out here. I knew nothing about the military but the Marines do so much for the preservation of the land, animals, and other treasures out here. It really educated me about the background of the military. This is a dream job. It is amazing to think that we are walking around the same place as people did 2,000 years ago. What they did for their time, I feel, is just as advanced as the things we are doing now. I have gone to places where I can touch the wall and almost feel those people from many years ago. It is pretty amazing. One of my biggest goals for my job out here is to show the Marines and their families that the desert is not that bad. The desert has some very unique things about it. There is so much history here and I hope they can learn to appreciate it. If anybody has a problem getting a job, volunteering is a perfect way to get involved and to get experience. If you are in a group of people, you’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish compared to working by yourself. Much like the Marines. It is very important to try and do something that you love doing because, at that point, its not really a job.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - “I donate to this cause every single year,” said Mira Kozell, quality assurance, Combat Center commissary. “If each person could just donate one item each time they come to the commissary, it would be a lot of help. This program is helping feed Marine Corps families.”
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - An announcement was heard through the halls of Condor Elementary School, but was not the usual morning announcement. It was the voice of a staff member urging teachers to secure their classrooms due to an active shooter being present in the building.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Combat Center Marines received a special opportunity to learn their Marine Corps history as it was retold by the Dine Navajo Code Talkers at the Protestant Chapel, July 11, 2014.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The handler lets go of the tightly threaded, black leash, letting the full force of Baby, a military working dog, come upon Cpl. Paul Kelley, military working dog handler, Provost Marshal’s Office. With one furious leap, Baby pushes Kelley into the pool with her teeth firmly clamped onto the arm of his bite suit. Her jaw remains locked down as her handler maintains control with verbal commands and escorts the simulated perpetrator out of the pool.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Combat Center Marines arrived at the Little Church of the Desert for an opportunity to give back to community. They worked tirelessly, cleaning the dining hall, preparing the tables, and readying the kitchen for more than 100 members of the Twentynine Palms, Calif., community. With smiles on their faces and sincerity in their hearts, the Marines fed their community and helped spread charity and kindness throughout Twentynine Palms.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The children sat outside anxiously waiting for the beginning of the presentation. A dog appeared at the corner of the field and received the command from his handler to attack. A Marine stood on the other end of the field wearing a bite suit. He then began to run away, but military working dog, Colli quickly closed the distance. The working dog sank its teeth into the Marine’s arm and wasn’t going to let go. The simulated criminal tried his best to break free, but Colli did not loosen his grip until the handler yelled the command to release.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Maj. Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, 1st Marine Division Commanding General, presented a Purple Heart Medal to Cpl. Donald Riley, maintenance manager, 1st Tank Battalion, at the unit’s Tank Ramp, July 2, 2014.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Mark Dumdie enlisted in 1989 with an open contract and retired in 2013 aboard the Combat Center. He began his career of firefighting as an aircraft rescue Marine and served 24 ½ years. Dumdie participated in Operation Tomodachi or (Operation Friend) to add to the relief effort in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. He is also an avid motorcyclist who has been riding for 30 years and began with his first bike given to him by his father at the age of 15.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The first firework soars through the darkness as the Twentynine Palms community watches in anticipation from lawn chairs, vehicle rooftops, and grassy areas of Luckie Park. The firework explodes and color fizzes into the night sky marking the beginning of the fireworks show, a proud, traditional, celebration of independence and freedom.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - “It is not just a game, it is a way of life. There are few places you will go where the game is not celebrated. It goes by many names, soccer, futbol, football, but no matter what the people around you call it, it is beautiful. If you make the ball happy, I promise you, no matter what, you and the people around you, will be happy.”
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - All hands aboard the Combat Center gathered at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray field to witness a historic moment in Combat Center history as Maj. Gen. David H. Berger, former Combat Center Commanding General, formally relinquished his command to Maj. Gen. Lewis A. Craparotta, Combat Center Commanding General, in a change of command ceremony, July 10, 2014.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Lt. Col. Daniel Wittnam relinquished command of 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, to Lt. Col. Ross Parrish during a change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field, July 2.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - After attending Chapman University and receiving her bachelor’s degree in social sciences, Jennifer Casas worked as a corrections officer at the County of Riverside Juvenile Hall for three years. She would go on to attend Chapman for her master’s degree in psychology all while enlisted in the Air Force Reserve for 14 years with six being Active Reserve status. Casas is currently a knowledge operations officer, communications master sergeant and serving as the alternate installation Sexual Assault Response Coordinator aboard the Combat Center.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Marines, sailors, distinguished guests, families and friends of Headquarters Battalion gathered to watch as Lt. Col Michael A. Bowers, former commanding officer, HQBN, relinquished command to Lt. Col. Dennis A. Sanchez, commanding officer, HQBN, during a change of command ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field, July 2, 2014.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Preparing Marines for survival in mountainous terrain and high elevations is what the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center is known for. Although the mission of the base remains the same throughout the years, leadership and personnel will change and uphold the standard set by those who came before.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Fighters entered the cage as equals, but would leave as one winner and one loser. A crowd of several hundred Marines, sailors and family members watched as the fighters touched gloves, and almost immediately, the faster of the two seized the opportunity to strike, beating down his opponent as the crowd roared. His arm was held high by the announcer as he is declared the victor. The next pair of fighters prepare for their bout, declaring Summer Fight Night had returned in full swing.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The sun was shining and the smell of barbeque was in the air. Children played in the splash park and admired the tactical vehicles on display at the Joshua Tree Summer Splash at the Joshua Tree Community Park, Saturday, but then, an announcement was made, “5 minutes until the next event.” Everyone gathered, the families waited patiently and listened to the Marines introduce themselves. After the introduction concluded, a child stood up, raised his hand and politely asked, “May I pet the puppy?” The Combat Center’s Provost Marshal’s Office K9 division and Combat Logistics Battalion 7 participated in the event. The Marines taught families about the tactical vehicles on display and performed a K9 demonstration. “I love doing demonstrations,” said Sgt. Daniel Andrzejewski, K9 training chief, PMO. “It’s always great to come out and do this. These events are always a great time for families and we like to add to that.” The Summer Splash was a free family event open to everyone. Along with the tactical vehicle static display and the K9 demonstration, there were booths and other events being held by the local community. There was a dunk tank where children threw balls attempting to hit the target and dunk the person in the tank. There were also arts and crafts, a tractor show, barbeque, hoop classes, and dance and yoga demonstrations. “We wanted to bring a community event back to Joshua Tree,” said Linda Sande, Rotary Club of Joshua Tree. “The Marines are absolutely a part of our community. Everyone loves having them here.” The Joshua Tree Summer Splash doubled in size since last year’s celebration. The celebration is over, but is scheduled to be back next year for more fun in the sun.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Christian D. Martinez is a rifleman with 7th Marine Regiment. His former battalion was, the now deactivated, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 7th Marine Regiment, where he deployed twice with the unit's sniper platoon.
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Col. David J. Eskelund relinquished command of Marine Corps Logistics Operations Group to Col. Matthew S. Cook during a change of command ceremony at Dunham Amphitheater, June 24, 2014.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - After two years as the commanding officer of 1st Tank Battalion, Lt. Col. Greg Poland relinquished command of the battalion during a change of command ceremony at the battalion’s ramp June 20.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Aric Pope has been climbing and hiking for the 13 years he has lived in Joshua Tree. Since the age of five, he has also ridden dirt bikes, constantly seeking a thrill either in his day-to day life, in the open stretches of sand in the desert, or on the side of a mountain.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The Gladiators of Christ Ministries, sponsored by the Combat Center’s Christ Chapel, held a Serving Those Who Serve event at the Marine Corps Communication-Electronics School barracks, June 5.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - In 2009, Fort Hood, Texas, was under attack by former Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. The incident left 13 people dead and 30 bystanders wounded, and opened the eyes of the Department of Defense to some much-needed training. A new training program was implemented to detect and prevent future tragedies. The Combat Center conducted its annual Violence Prevention Awareness and Recognition Course this week at Bldg. 1707. The class is given by senior instructors from Armada, a contracted security company. “Last year, the program kicked off,” said Eric Kazmierczak, senior instructor, Armada. “It is an annual requirement now.” The two-hour course identified the warning signs and behavioral indicators of violence, the escalation of potentially dangerous, described how to properly report warning signs and indicators and lastly defined an active shooter. During the course, the instructors used videos, news reports and recent headlines as examples of workplace violence. Their most prominent examples were the active-shooter situations at Fort Hood and the Washington Naval Yard Shooting last year. In each case, there were tell-tale signs that could have helped identify the culprits as a threat and prevented tragedies. The instructors urged the audience to look for signs from their coworkers, such as unusual behavior or performance in the workplace. By identifying these indicators coworkers can help deescalate situations before they become a problem, or at the very least, raise awareness. According to the Department of Labor, there were more than 7 million instances of workplace violence in 2009 ranging from threats and intimidation to homicide. The instructors said the numbers have been on the rise. “Work place violence is increasing,” Kazmierczak said. “The workplace has become a violent place.” The Awareness and Prevention Course was given to individual Combat Center personnel, however, Armada instructors also provided more extensive classes on the subject: the Violence Prevention Team Course, Officers Course and Violence Preventions Representatives Course. The instructors are scheduled to return next year to provide the training to new service members and employees of the Combat Center and reinforce it in the minds of those who attended it this year.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - A climber hangs on by his fingertips, tirelessly clinging to a small part of the mountain face. Using every limb, the climber inches his way up, methodically placing his feet and hands for each advance. Every grip brings him higher until he reaches the top. With ease, the climber slowly lets go, allowing the retractable rope clipped to his harness to ease him back down to the padded floor.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Whether the children have been released for summer vacation, a Marine has just gotten off duty or the platoon has been dismissed for liberty, the need to find something fun and interesting to do during off-duty hours is always prevalent.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The runner climbs the hill with each stride. His feet sink into the sand with each step as he inches closer to the top. His muscles begin to burn but he continues his charge, knowing there will be more terrain to traverse after this moment but still, all he can think of is conquering the hill. Many thoughts cross his mind, but the one that remains the strongest is his reason for running.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The aroma of chicken filled the kitchen as the chefs hustled around the galley attempting to complete their menu before time was up. One by one they brought their dishes out to a buffet setting in front of candle-lit tables. Each team set a couple of plates aside and added last minute touches to the presentation of the food. The judges took their seats at the head of the room as the first team anxiously waited to be called upon. Combat Center Marine and civilian chefs fired up their grills and competed in a Chef of the Quarter Competition at Phelps Mess Hall, Tuesday and Wednesday. The chefs were tested in three different aspects of culinary arts. “This competition gives the chefs a chance to prove their skills,” said John Rocha, Sodexo Government Services. “The food has to look and taste good. On top of being prepared safely and in a timely manner.” The competition began with five teams. The first day of the competition, the chefs participated in a test focusing on basic culinary knowledge, such as temperatures and cooking styles. After the test, the chefs competed in a "Jeopardy-style" competition, which also tested them on basic culinary information. The top three teams earned a chance to compete in a cooking portion which was timed and monitored. “The toughest part of the competition, for me, was the time limit,” said Lance Cpl. Kenneth Martin, food service specialist, Phelps Mess Hall. “Everything seemed so fast. People were scrambling around like crazy trying to meet the deadline.” All chefs were given the same ingredients to choose from and were instructed to make an appetizer, entrée and dessert. The two main foods that were required to be used by each team were pizza and chicken wings. The dishes were judged on multiple factors including taste, presentation and an explanation of how it was prepared and how the ingredients were utilized. “The competition was a lot of fun but it was also nerve-racking,” Martin said. “You don’t know what to expect. You just do your best to make the food and hope people enjoy it.” The winners of the Chef of the Quarter Competition were Cpl. Melvin Banuelos, food service specialist, Phelps Mess Hall, and Martin. “We got to showcase our skills and get away from what we do every day at the chow hall,” Banuelos said. “We cook en masse for the chow hall but today we had to pay attention to the flavor, presentation, and actually had to create a menu of what we were going to serve. We got to use our creative side and it feels good to come out on top.”
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Patrick Whitaker’s father was a Marine and he spent the majority of his life growing up on Marine Corps installations in California. Whitaker, who now works at the Combat Center GameStop, is currently going to school to be a videographer and has a true passion for gaming.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - As the adjutant’s command echoed throughout Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field, hundreds of spectators silently watched as the Marines and sailors of 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 7th Marine Regiment, conducted their final pass and review. The battalion, ordered deactivated by the Marine Corps, drew a crowd of distinguished guests and veterans of the unit, which holds a reputation as the most deployed Marine Corps battalion this past decade. They and the Marines and sailors before them knew this wasn’t the battalion’s first deactivation, nor would it be the last.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Desert sun rays beam on service members every day aboard the Combat Center. As the seasons transition into the summer, Marines and sailors will continue to train and exercise. The 101 Critical Days of Summer campaign began, May 26, 2014, to raise awareness on safety for recreational activities and workouts in the rising temperatures of the season. Whether in the field or on the main side of the base, it is important to consider the weather when planning activities. The Combat Center offers many alternatives to outdoor exercise at facilities aboard the installation. “We just want to make sure people on base know the gyms offer free weights, treadmills and other facilities they can use instead of going outside where they can potentially sustain heat injuries,” said Felicia Crosson, health and wellness coordinator, Semper Fit, Marine Corps Community Services. Marines aboard the Combat Center make use of the indoor facilities frequently and understand how effective they are at keeping Combat Center patrons out of the sun. “I use the gym because of how practical and convenient it is,” said Lance Cpl. Gabriel Emery, supply admin clerk, Headquarters Battalion. “If I can lift then immediately go to a treadmill and run, that means I don’t have to ruin my schedule to get the workout I want.” The facilities offer programs like High Intensity Tactical Training and workouts for anyone to participate in. The East Gym offers aerobics, weights, racquetball, and a basketball courts for recreational sports or leagues that are run by MCCS. The West Gym offers the same, but includes two buildings which contain a rock-climbing wall and HITT facilities like the Hypoxic Chamber, which makes the air quality inside feel like training at 10,000 feet above sea-level. Programs such as yoga, HITT, cycling, Zumba, cardio circuits and more can be found at the base gyms for service members and their families to participate in. “Both gyms offer a lot to anyone who wants to use them,” Crosson said. “We also offer programs with dedicated schedules for service members to try new things while they’re here. The more we have to offer at the gyms, the safer we can make the base by keeping them out of the harsh conditions during the summer.” Family members of different age groups can also utilize programs and facilities offered at the gyms such as the rock-climbing program for children. “We’re open to families as well and offer events like rock climbing for children to be introduced to with parental supervision,” Crosson said. For those who would like to break out of the gym for a moment, a new training area has been made available. “A new turf has also been added by the West Gym to offer other exercise opportunities like rope climbing, tire flips, pull-up bars and Olympic weights so Marines can train on grass-like material. The turf by the West Gym was made with sand so the ground does not heat up as quickly and gives Combat Center patrons a safe alternative because they are closer to the gym,” Crosson said. The opportunities offered at these gyms give many options to units, individual service members or anyone who wants to get a well-rounded workout while staying out of the heat, according to Emery. “Our main concern is safety,” Crosson said. “As things heat up on base, we want to make sure people don’t go out there and run at the hottest point of the year where they can suffer from dehydration or heat stroke. We have the facilities to provide a good exercise alternative which is most important.”
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Covert is currently serving as the Combat Center Commanding General’s Aide and has a true passion for being a Marine. Her father, who also was a Marine Corps officer, inspired her to adopt the values of honor, courage and commitment, and pursue her dream of becoming a Marine.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - As Trudy Knight, wife of deceased Gunnery Sgt. Charles White, strolled through the grounds at the Twentynine Palms Public Cemetery on Monday morning, she turned to four Marines in dress blues.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Marines have tough jobs. They work late, through weekends and occasional holidays. In order to gain perspective of Marine Corps life, approximately 20 spouses took on their Marine’s job for a day.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle engine roars as it begins moving the fire team through a middle-eastern town. The sound of stray bullets echo through the streets as enemy fire impacts the armor of the vehicle. Equipped with their kevlar helmet, flak jacket, and M-16 A4 rifles, the team navigates through hostile city receiving a barrage of enemy fire. The convoy’s lead vehicle explodes. Frantically, the team leader shouts commands signaling the team to dismount and return fire. The simulator screens shine bright into the stationary vehicle, as the program generates a city populated by digital buildings, insurgents and other potential threats.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The stage shook with the sound of drums and electric guitars as the speakers rang out with every note played. Each song weaved through the sea of service members and their families during the We Salute You Celebration hosted at Lance Corporal Torrey L. Gray Field, May 17, 2014.
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – LAY. HO. HEAVE. Marines with Bridge Company, 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, chanted the preparatory commands as they lifted and moved parts of a bridge in unison, demonstrating their bridging capability to 1st Marine Expeditionary Force leadership during Exercise Desert Scimitar 2014 aboard Twentynine Palms, Calif., May 16, 2014. DS 14 is an annual exercise led by 1st Marine Division, in which 1st MLG serves as their tactical logistics support. The bridge they built provided transportation across a 66-foot gap, allowing Marines with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Mar. Div., to assault the enemy in this year’s training scenario. “We built a Medium Girder Bridge, which is capable of spanning anywhere from 20 feet to over 145 feet,” said 1st Lt. Dwight McGurdy, bridge platoon commander, Bridge Co., 7th ESB, 1st MLG. The MGB is particularly useful due to its ease of transportation as well as its ability to withstand the weight of the heaviest military equipment. “This bad boy can allow pretty much anything from a convoy of 7-tons and Humvees to Abram tanks and trailers hauling artillery across it,” said Cpl. Jervis Hettrick, bridge master, Bridge Co., 7th ESB, 1st MLG. As the bridge master, Hettrick played a critical role in the construction of the bridge, providing junior Marines with direction and ensuring everyone’s safety in the process. “Hettrick is a no-nonsense Marine who is dedicated fully to completing the mission, which sometimes means setting aside others’ wants and needs in order to see the mission through to the end,” said Staff Sgt. Timothy Liners, operations chief for Bridge Co. As a unit that supports 1st MEF, 7th ESB wanted to demonstrate the mobility aspect that engineers provide in an expeditionary environment. “For example, if [an infantry] unit sees an avenue of approach they want to take across a wet or dry gap, we build the bridge and they continue pursuing the enemy,” said McGurdy, a native of Tavernier, Fla. In addition to providing that mobility for the infantry units, the MGB is built piece-by-piece, so if the bridge were bombed, for example, only the pieces that received the damage would need to be replaced. Each piece weighs 380-600 lbs., making it a challenging, but manageable weight for Marines to maneuver during construction and repair of a bridge. “Given the adverse conditions that my Marines faced with the heat and terrain, my Marines performed on an exemplary level,” said Liners, a native of Brooklyn Park, Minn. According to Liners, this bridging exercise reinforced the confidence of leadership at 1st Mar. Div. and I MEF, showcasing the capability of Bridge Co. in maintaining mobility in expeditionary environments.
MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael James Soliven, a biomedical equipment technician with 1st Dental Battalion, 1st Marine Logistics Group, against all odds, is now providing a better life for his family as a dedicated sailor aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif.
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - A team of Marines dismount from a CH-47 Chinook helicopter into a landing zone that sits at approximately 11,000 feet above sea level. The team was faced with high gusts of wind, rocky terrain, and the strain higher altitudes can have on the body as they progressed down the mountainside. The group overcame the natural obstacles and pushed through to each checkpoint. Though trekking two kilometers to their first checkpoint, the team still had a long day ahead of them.