Marines, Sailors Hit the Beaches Ready to Roll
Marines with 1st Transportation Support Battalion and Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, along with Sailors assigned to Assault Craft Unit 5 and Beach Master Unit 1, participated in ship-to-shore drills during exercise Pacific Horizon 2015 aboard Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct.23. PH 15 is a scenario driven, simulation supported crisis response


Fri, 24 Oct 2014 20:22:00 GMT
Special Reaction Team trains critical skills
The Camp Pendleton Provost Marshal Office’s Special Reaction Team conducted live-fire training at Range 300, Oct. 23.  The team handled several weapon systems to include shotguns, rifles and pistols. The weapons they fired are used in critical operations, including hostage situations, breaching structures and unconventional weapons handling. The


Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:00:00 GMT
31st MEU Marine goes back to his amphibious roots on the USS Peleliu
U.S. Marine Corps 1st Lt. Sy Poggemeyer knew how to get around an amphibious assault ship at the age of four.   “I remember going to my dad’s stateroom, thinking that it was really big. I jumped on his bed; he had the Nintendo [Entertainment System] set up, so there we were, playing the old Mario Bros. game with my dad,” said Poggemeyer, radio


Fri, 24 Oct 2014 00:51:00 GMT
Exercise program a big HITT with Marines aboard Miramar
Marines with Aircraft Recovery, a unit within Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron (H&HS), took part in a High Intensity Tactical Training workout at the HITT Center aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Oct. 22.


Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:37:04 GMT
Recruits learn rifle fundamentals during Grass Week
Recruits of Mike Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, learned rifle fundamentals during Grass Week at Edson Range, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 15.  The purpose of Grass Week is to teach recruits the basic fundamentals of marksmanship and learn the functions of the rifle such as how to load, unload and fire the M16-A4 service


Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:34:00 GMT
Guatemalan native joins Marine Corps brotherhood
The death of a father, a constant move from state to state and school to school would be enough to make any child question a sense of belonging or family security.  Fortunately, one recruit was able to find a sense of himself, belonging and security in the type of brotherhood the Marine Corps offers.   Private Axel L. Franco, Platoon 1034, Bravo


Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:33:00 GMT
Headquarters and Service Company Marines reach foundations of combat conditioning through hiking
In the early morning, just before the sun rose, Marines and sailors from Headquarters and Service Company, Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force, practiced the basics of combat conditioning as they conducted a four-mile hike aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Oct. 23, 2014.   Marines and sailors wore body armor and carried


Thu, 23 Oct 2014 19:53:00 GMT
MWSS-373 Marines Build Up for PH 15
Marines with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373, Combat Engineers Platoon, erected a multipurpose building (SWA hut) during exercise Pacific Horizon 2015 aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., Oct. 21-22. The wooden structure was built to shelter and support a local population through a notional scenario during PH 15.  PH 15 is a scenario


Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:24:08 GMT
Warrior Wednesday: Marine from Galveston, Texas
Unsure of what he wanted out of life, Sgt. Michael Clifton decided to take the challenge he was offered by a Marine Corps recruiter. It was a decision the 24 year old from Galveston, Texas, would look back on as one of his greatest accomplishments of his life.  In this interview Clifton, an AN/TRC-170 technician with the 15th Marine Expeditionary


Thu, 23 Oct 2014 16:17:26 GMT
A Dark Horse bond like no other: Grandfather, Grandson serve in same Battalion 50 years apart
Lance Corporal Benjamin J. Ferry joined the Marine Corps because of his grandfather.   “My grandpa always said I could go in any branch, and die in any branch, but if I joined the Army he would shoot me tomorrow,” said Ferry, a 23 year-old from Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. “I always wanted to be a Marine so that’s the way I chose to


Thu, 23 Oct 2014 03:03:00 GMT
 
How I Got Here: Master Gunnery Sgt. King (Marines Uncovered)
Article By Sgt. Melissa Karnath
Early in her career, Master Gunnery Sergeant Avril (Michelle) King felt she had to prove herself every time she entered a new work environment because she was a female Marine. Undaunted, King strived to constantly  [Read more...]
Article By Sgt. Melissa Karnath
(U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Michael Walters/Released)

When she first encountered a Marine recruiter, Avril (Michelle) King made up her mind to reach the top of the enlisted rank structure. Now, after nearly 30 years of constantly bettering herself as a Marine and as a woman, King has reached the rank of master gunnery sergeant in the Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Michael Walters/Released)

Early in her career, Master Gunnery Sergeant Avril (Michelle) King felt she had to prove herself every time she entered a new work environment because she was a female Marine. Undaunted, King strived to constantly better herself as a Marine and as a woman.

The chance was slim for King, from Harvey, Illinois, to achieve the rank she wears today within her small occupational field.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Avril (Michelle) King  lists the top four achievements that helped shape her career. PME  I know that the hands-on-training through all of the Enlisted Professional Military Education Resident Academies (Sgt’s Crs/Career Crs/Advanced Crs) were the building blocks that helped me hone in on my leadership abilities, focused my critical thinking, as well as taught me sound tactical skills. I understood the long-distance education through the MCI courses, but attending the resident PME courses, gave me an edge by doing the things I read about.  There is nothing like practicing for the real-time environment.  It builds your confidence in leading, thinking and truly making the right decisions at a moment’s notice.  It also gave me the opportunity to build camaraderie with fellow Marines in other military occupational specialties that I would have never had the opportunity to meet or learn from. Family and Friends My family and friends have always been the support and mentors in my life.  They provided a spark, or a simple path of guidance that pushed me to take that next step in accomplishing any goal I set for myself in the Corps.  Knowing that I had their support helped keep my confidence levels high so that I would always continue to move forward in the Corps. Off-duty Education Off duty education allowed me to do what I said I would do before joining the Corps.  I promised myself that I would get my education while in the Marine Corps.  Of course, I didn’t know how demanding that would be until I put forth the effort to get my undergrad.  It took every bit of 6 years to achieve.  I also decided that each time I reenlisted, that I had to be enrolled in continuing education.  I don’t think you can ever go wrong being better educated.   Congressional Fellowship/Deployment The Congressional Fellowship has been the highlight of my career!  Actually, working in Congressman Joe Wilson’s office, SC-2, as a staffer in 2012 allowed me to help shape legislation as well as give my military input on defense matters in Congress.    The ultimate achievement for me was my deployment to OEF!  Helping to build Camp Leatherneck and experience the camaraderie with the military members I served with while in theatre is like no experience I’ve ever had!  I’m sure this experience helped open doors for me to participate in the Congressional Fellowship.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Avril (Michelle) King lists the top four achievements that helped shape her career.
PME
I know that the hands-on-training through all of the Enlisted Professional Military Education Resident Academies (Sgt’s Crs/Career Crs/Advanced Crs) were the building blocks that helped me hone in on my leadership abilities, focused my critical thinking, as well as taught me sound tactical skills. I understood the long-distance education through the MCI courses, but attending the resident PME courses gave me an edge by doing the things I read about. There is nothing like practicing for the real-time environment. It builds your confidence in leading, thinking and truly making the right decisions at a moment’s notice. It also gave me the opportunity to build camaraderie with fellow Marines in other military occupational specialties that I would have never had the opportunity to meet or learn from.
Family and Friends
My family and friends have always been the support and mentors in my life. They provided a spark, or a simple path of guidance, that pushed me to take that next step in accomplishing any goal I set for myself in the Corps. Knowing that I had their support helped keep my confidence levels high so that I would always continue to move forward in the Corps.
Off-duty Education
Off duty education allowed me to do what I said I would do before joining the Corps. I promised myself that I would get my education while in the Marine Corps. Of course, I didn’t know how demanding that would be until I put forth the effort to get my undergrad. It took every bit of 6 years to achieve. I also decided that each time I re-enlisted, that I had to be enrolled in continuing education. I don’t think you can ever go wrong being better educated.
Congressional Fellowship/Deployment
The Congressional Fellowship has been the highlight of my career! Actually, working in Congressman Joe Wilson’s office, SC-2, as a staffer in 2012 allowed me to help shape legislation as well as give my military input on defense matters in Congress. The ultimate achievement for me was my deployment to OEF. Helping to build Camp Leatherneck and experience the camaraderie with the military members I served with while in theatre is like no experience I’ve ever had! I’m sure this experience helped open doors for me to participate in the Congressional Fellowship.

By pursuing her goals, King has achieved success many of her colleagues early in her career doubted was possible.

Today, King serves as the Special Assistant to the Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Initiative for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Manpower and Reserve Affairs Office. Here we borrow fragments from King’s nearly 30-year career and how she’s overcome challenges and obstacles to reach where she is today.

(As told to combat correspondent Sgt. Melissa Karnath)

 

When I went in, I had this plum colored hair and polka-a-dot polished fingernails, not someone you would think could be a Marine. So I asked my recruiter, “What’s the highest rank you can get in this Marine Corps?” As enlisted he said E-9 and I replied, “Okay that’s what I want to do.”

I probably needed to grow up a little more, get my bearings, and the best way to do that was to go away to a branch of service and then come back after four years and go to school or even attend school while I was in the service.

I came in the Marine Corps as an Administration Clerk, 0151. I worked with service record book clerks at the Recruit Administrative Center at Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.

One of my girl friends, who was also in the administration field, had done the stenographer program that the Marine Corps offered. I looked into it. I had actually put in for that program as a lance corporal and didn’t get selected. When I picked up corporal, I put in again for the program and was selected.

I completed the two-year civilian school that was very tedious. We started with 15, and there were five of us who actually became court reporters and served as court reporters in the fleet. It’s a very demanding program, very tedious.

In the court reporter field we couldn’t do B-billets, so what else would help you stand out?  The things that you personally do like going to school or helping in your community. If you’re not trying to take yourself down two paths, the path to succeed in the Marine Corps and the path to succeed in life, something is going to falter. I just thank God that I always was committed to work on myself personally as well as work on myself as a Marine at the same time.

I always knew that I had to get my degree. A college degree was huge on the list of priorities. I had been in the Marine Corps nearly ten years before I finally buckled down and worked toward my degree. I went to five different schools in order to get my general education classes so that I could get everything transferred to Southern Illinois University.

It took me six years to get my undergrad. I got it, on top of being a court reporter, mom and wife. From 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., were my self-imposed school hours in order to get it done. I was proud of myself to actually have stuck through that, six years is a long time to stick with it.

I didn’t qualify with a weapon when I first came in the Marine Corps. We (females) were different from the men in that sense. The first time I went to the range to qualify, I was so nervous. I didn’t want to have to go back to the office to the guys making fun. I made sure I came back qualified.

I married my husband who lived five blocks away from me at home. When I graduated boot camp, we married. He was also a Marine. It was a dual-military family for 20 years before we divorced. He’s still my friend today.

As dual military you might as well be single parents if you have children. If anybody’s going to be successful, you’re sacrificing time with your family. We’d send our oldest daughter to be with our family in Illinois. My family was very supportive in making sure that even though I missed my daughter when she was away, I didn’t worry about her.

The Marine Corps was very good to us as far as us being able to be stationed together. I would say that the difficulty we had was whose job was more important.

There is no blame to be laid, but the Marine Corps made it difficult as to whose job was more important. We never did get that right. The support system we had for each other, I think it faltered near the end.

I was the first female enlisted person chosen for the Congressional Fellowship Program. I actually applied for the program three times before I was selected. I was very happy when I got in and it was an exciting experience that I would highly recommend to others.

After you do your one year on the Hill, you have a two-year utilization tour that you do. That’s currently what I’m doing now, my utilization tour. You come back and give back to the Corps what you’ve learned with that Hill experience.

Most definitely, there have been challenges. The racist and lewd jokes or comments, all of that was alive when I came up. I didn’t have a problem telling someone when he or she had crossed the line. It caused me to stand out, and you didn’t really want to stand out. You wanted to be accepted.

I’d have to prove myself every time I dealt with a different environment. I like being a girly girl, so of course, I don’t look like the type who can do the guy stuff. But I showed them something different. I had to be a little brash at first to make sure male Marines were not going to walk over me.

Whatever ranks I achieved or whatever successes I have achieved, it hasn’t been by myself — none of them. Family, friends, fellow Marines, even civilians have helped me to achieve every stripe that I currently wear and I’m so thankful to all of them for all of their support over the years.

Today I’m very proud to be a female Marine in the Corps. I’m proud to have experienced the things I have experienced, to have opened doors for the females coming behind me and to be able to have made a difference.

King

Throughout her nearly 30-year career in the Corps, Master Gunnery Sgt. Avril (Michelle) King deployed to Afghanistan and was the first female enlisted person to be chosen for the Congressional Fellowship Program. King currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Wounded Warrior Hiring and Support Initiative for the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Manpower and Reserve Affairs Office.  (Photos courtesy of Master Gunnery Sgt. Avril (Michelle) King)

 

 


Tue, 02 Sep 2014 17:16:47 +0000
 
Behind the scene; Commandants passing of command
Guests entered the gates of Marine Barracks Washington, walking over freshly swept walkways toward their seats overlooking the perfectly manicured grass and Marines stationed strategically in their dress blues.
Behind the scene; Commandants passing of command
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:26:18 -0400
Behind the scene; Commandants passing of command
A Marine with Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. tapes a placard to a seat for the Passing of Command ceremony Oct. 17, 2014. Gen. James F. Amos, the 35th commandant of the Marine Corps, passed the battle colors to Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., 36th commandant of the Marine Corps. The battle colors signify the change of authority for America’s premiere fighting force.
Behind the scene; Commandants passing of command
Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:25:14 -0400
The Corps Report, Ep. 42: New Commandant Takes Charge
Welcome to the Marine Corps' web update, "The Corps Report." Check us out every payday for all the latest gouge. This week's episode of The Corps Report discusses General Joseph Dunford as our next commandant and what you can do to help the Corps save during energy action month. Also available in high definition.
The Corps Report, Ep. 42: New Commandant Takes Charge
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 07:01:40 -0400
Passage of Command: Driving Out in Style [Image 1 of 10]
Gen. James Amos drives off from the commandant passage of command ceremony with his family at Marine Barracks Washington, Friday, Oct. 17. After 44 years of honorable service to the Corps, Gen. James Amos passed the torch to Gen. Joseph Dunford. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Clayton Filipowicz/Released)
Passage of Command: Driving Out in Style [Image 1 of 10]
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:22:51 -0400
Passage of Command: Gen. James Amos [Image 2 of 10]
Gen. James Amos addresses the crowd during the commandant passage of command ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington, Friday, Oct. 17. After 44 years of honorable service to the Corps, Gen. James Amos passed the torch to Gen. Joseph Dunford. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Clayton Filipowicz/Released)
Passage of Command: Gen. James Amos [Image 2 of 10]
Fri, 17 Oct 2014 16:22:10 -0400
 
U.S. Marines partner with East African forces
U.S. Marines arrived in East Africa, October 14, to train Ugandan and Burundian forces, preparing them for future deployments.  The forces will practice basic infantry tactics, engineering, logistical support, countering improvised explosive devices, lifesaving techniques, and convoy operations throughout October and December. The U.S. force is

Fri, 17 Oct 2014 04:00:00 GMT
U.S., Bulgaria resilient as regional threat looms
U.S. and Bulgarian military exercises demonstrate a combined commitment to preserving European security amidst recent Russian aggression.  As current regional tensions in Eastern Europe intensify, NATO partnerships are vital to deescalating and deterring threats.  During a recent training exercise, the U.S. and Bulgarian forces refined offensive


Fri, 17 Oct 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Riverine tactics deter illicit activity on Cameroon waterways
Countries in Africa with access to coastal and inland waterways like Cameroon have placed great emphasis on riverine operations and patrolling to help ensure the safety and security of their border.  Marines, Sailors and Coast Guardsmen from Security Cooperation Team 5 Bravo, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force-Crisis Response-Africa,


Thu, 16 Oct 2014 04:00:00 GMT
US Marines provide support to Ebola Response in West Africa
U.S. Marines and sailors assigned to Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Africa (SPMAGTF-CR-AF) arrived in Monrovia, Liberia, and are ready to provide support to Operation United Assistance, Oct. 9, 2014.  On Oct. 8, 2014, an alert response force from SPMAGTF-CR-AF consisting of four MV-22 Ospreys, two KC-130J Super

Thu, 09 Oct 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Finding the ties that bind: Breaking the cycle in West Africa
As any Marine will attest to, the back-bone of the Marine Corps is our strong NCO leadership. The Marine Corps has a proud history of encouraging decentralized leadership and empowering our NCOs to accomplish a given task. This requires a high level of trust plus communication between officers and NCOs and willingness for officers to allow success

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Final GDP-ISAF Rotation Redeploys Following Successful Partnership with Georgian Armed Forces
Marines and Sailors from Georgia Training Team, Marine Forces Europe and Africa, are nearing the end of their six month deployment supporting the Georgia Deployment Program- International Security Assistance Force. They are the final GTT to train a Battalion from the Georgian Armed Forces to support the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.   Combat

Tue, 07 Oct 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Ebola: AFL, US enablers key in Liberia's fight against virus
A U.S. military contingent led by Marines are assisting the Armed Forces of Liberia to handle humanitarian and security crises.  Since 2009, U.S. Marines, leading a joint force from U.S. Africa Command, have partnered with the AFL and other West African forces as part of Operation Onward Liberty.   "The AFL has steadily grown in both capability and

Thu, 25 Sep 2014 14:06:32 GMT
How Marines and West Africans improved relationships through community outreach projects in Senegal
Note: U.S. Marine Capt. Dustin Partridge is the officer-in-charge for the current iteration of the Military Intelligence Basic Officer Course-Africa, a multilateral military training engagement in Senegal. He shares his experiences building positive relationships with the host-nation community in this first-person perspective.    Marines always


Mon, 22 Sep 2014 10:58:00 GMT
Maj. Gen. Beydler visits SP-MAGTF Africa
Maj. Gen. William D. Beydler, the commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa, visited here, Sept. 13, to meet the service members of Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14. The service members currently assigned to SP-MAGTF Africa 14 are tasked with supporting Marine Forces Europe and


Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:11:19 GMT
Tennessee Marine returns from training in Burundi
Major Luke A. Sauber, a Marine with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Africa 14, and native of Memphis, Tennessee, recently returned from a theater security cooperation mission in Burundi.    Sauber was part of a small team of Marines and Sailors who trained and advised the Burundi National Defense Force in logistics and engineering,


Tue, 16 Sep 2014 11:10:43 GMT
 
MARFORPAC Marines recognized for exceptional work
Master Sgt. Lisa Morales and Staff Sgt. Alfredo Estrella, with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, were recently recognized by the former Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos during the annual Modern Day Marine Exposition award ceremony at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., Sept. 24.  The two Phoenix natives were presented with statues of

Tue, 21 Oct 2014 01:30:00 GMT
Fought war, gained title
Jacob Sprinkle had been tied to the Marine Corps since birth, born little more than a short 13 years ago on November 10 — the Marine Corps' birthday. Sadly, Jacob would never live to serve in the Corps, but now, in death, he bears the title of "Marine." More than 100 guests filled the Jonesville, Virginia Lee County High School auditorium tonight


Thu, 16 Oct 2014 14:07:00 GMT
1/12 conducts mortar training, preps for deployment
Marines with Charlie Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, fired 120mm rounds from the M327 Expeditionary Fire Support System Oct. 7 during one of the battery’s training and readiness evaluations at Schofield Barracks’ newly re-opened ranges. The gun sections were evaluated on timeliness of their fire support, weapon emplacement, and the


Thu, 09 Oct 2014 20:35:00 GMT
MarForPac Band revisits Palau after a 50 year-span
In honor and remembrance of the 70th Anniversary of the landingon Peleliu, the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific Band visited the Republic ofPalau, Sept. 12 through 18.  The landing on Peleliu still remains as one of the bloodiest battles for the Marines who fought in the Pacific during World War II, also having been the battle where eight of the


Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:00:00 GMT
Marines remember the Battle of Peleliu
Rewind to 70 years earlier, and you have a 19-year-old William Darling, a private first class in the Marine Corps at the time, and Kiyokazu Tsuchida, a 24-year-old soldier fighting for the Empire of Japan, on the Island of Peleliu fighting against each other in one of the bloodiest battles that would come out of World War II.


Fri, 19 Sep 2014 01:58:00 GMT
MARFORPAC bids farewell to Robling, welcomes Toolan
In a change of command ceremony, Lt. Gen. Terry G. Robling relinquished command of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, to Lt. Gen. John A. Toolan, Aug. 15, at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The event also marks the end of a 38-year-long career for Robling, who retired after relinquishing command.  The change of command, which is normally conducted every


Sat, 16 Aug 2014 00:50:00 GMT
Philippines host US Marines for non-lethal weapons exercise 2014
Service members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police and U.S. Marines from 3rd Law Enforcement Battalion, III Marine Expeditionary Force, began the field training exercise portion of the Non-Lethal Weapons Executive Seminar 2014, Aug. 4. This year marks the 13th iteration of this event, which is held annually by U.S.


Fri, 15 Aug 2014 00:24:00 GMT
AFP, PNP demonstrate techniques learned throughout NOLES
Service members from the Armed Forces of the Philippines and police officers with the Philippine National Police demonstrated techniques learned throughout the field training exercise portion of Non-lethal Weapons Executive Seminar (NOLES) 2014, August 14, in front of senior leaders from 20 nations. This year marks the 13th iteration of this event,


Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:59:00 GMT
JGSDF experience Marine Corps aircraft maintenance
Japan Ground Self-Defense Force officers attended a display of the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft and machinery used for maintenance on the Marine Corps’ aircraft July 18 at Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.   The JGSDF officers who attended were pilots and maintenance workers that deal with similar aircraft and responsibilities.   “They have


Wed, 30 Jul 2014 12:08:23 GMT
CLT-2 takes grenade range on PTA
Headquarters Battery with 1st Battalion, 12th Marines and members of the Indonesian Korps Marinir and Australian Army, all attached to Company Landing Team 2, conducted grenade range operations at Range 5A in Pohakuloa Training Area, Hawaii, July 20, during Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) Exercise 2014.  RIMPAC is the largest maritime exercise in the

Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:24:02 GMT
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