Friday, November 6, 2015

Marine rank: Sergeant

So my Marine has become a sergeant.
He is still himself, but he is not. I know that he is someone different with the men around him, with his wife and children, with his brothers and with me.
Here, at his ceremony, he stands out in his field:

"How the Marines promote their enlisted: The E-1 through E-3, the first three ranks are awarded automatically after certain periods of time. The Marines promote their E-4s (Corporals) and E-5s (Sergeants) based on something called a cutting score. Your cutting score is the number of points you have earned based on your time in rank, your time in service, your conduct at your job, your accuracy with the rifle, and physical fitness as well as if you have done any additional training in the form of MCIs. Since time in service and time in rank always go up, assuming you don't drop in your scores in other things you will eventually get a higher score every month and more every quarter." - Jon DavisSergeant of Marines, Iraq vet, weapons instructor.

According to Sergeant Davis, several things are important in getting the score up quickly. 1. The choice of jobs, because some jobs carry more points than others. 2. Doing pull-ups, because physical fitness also earns points. And 3. doing MCIs because the tests are worth cutting points too.


In the United States Marine Corps, two ranks fall under the wider category of noncommissioned officer: corporal and sergeant. Although a sergeant ranks above a corporal, which is an E4 rank, the duties of a sergeant are similar. The main difference is that sergeants are responsible for a larger number of marines and equipment than corporals are. Chron

As the highest ranking noncommissioned officers, sergeants are the backbone of the Marine Corps. They are the main link between each marine and the organization's leadership, and they are responsible for implementing the policies and orders given by officers. 
Sergeants are responsible for the training subordinates in their basic military skills and their respective military occupational specialties. 
Sergeants respond directly to their commanding officer for the performance of their marines, and must therefore ensure the members of their unit are properly motivated to perform their tasks to the best of their ability. 

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Cody R. Nelson, a member of the III Marine Expeditionary Force combat shooting team, points his M249 light machine gun down range and listens to a range official during an international machine gun shooting match at the 2012 Australian Army Skill at Arms Meeting (AASAM) in Puckapunyal, Australia, May 9, 2012. AASAM was an international marksmanship competition that included 16 countries. (TSgt Michael Holzworth)
In the meanwhile, this is where my Marine loves to spend his time the most. On the range. Teaching and practicing, Sergeant or not.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


My Marine and his family are moving - to the other side of the world.
They will be there for three long years. At some point I'm sure I will get there for a visit. When talking walking long beautiful beaches with three amazing grandchildren, I'm on it!

The island of Okinawa is very small, 67 miles long and 2-17 miles wide. Don’t let that fool you, it can take hours to get places. Even though the distance between some of the bases is quite short, traffic can be heavy, the speed is slow, and the roads are very curvy which results in traffic jams and longer commutes.There are seven USMC camps on Okinawa. Courtney, Foster, Lester, and Kinser are for Marines and families to live. Hansen, Schwab, and Futenma are for Marines to live. Military Move Guide.
We have a very humid climate here because we are surrounded by the water and live in a sub-tropical place. The summer is HOT HOT HOT; more hot than Oklahoma and Vegas but if you are from Texas you’ll do fine!  Be prepared to feel moisture and heat when you step outside. The fall is very nice for it is very warm. The winter is mild usually in the 60′s. Spring 60′s and 70′s. People say May-June is rainy season but in my opinion it’s always the rainy season. Typhoon season is from June-Nov. Typhoons cause for a lot of wind and rain and the base will usually shut down. Everything here is built to typhoon standards, so when a warning is issued, everyone goes home. Some typhoons cause more damage than others, but with renters insurance, you will be covered. Military Move Guide.
The move to Okinawa is not considered a deployment, it is a permanent duty station (PDS). Deployment refers to locations the United States is conducting combat operations and there are no combat operations in Okinawa.

Base living conditions in Okinawa are comparable to those in the US and families have access to most things they would at home like Internet, shopping and exploring the area.

Capt. Ray Howard, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit embark officer, and his 5-year-old son Kelton sprint toward the finish line during a 3-legged race held at the MEU's Family Day celebration June 6, 2009. The Air Force manages more than 8,300 family housing units on Okinawa for all four services

The Basics: 
Okinawa, Japan - Eastern Asia
Capital - Naha
Bordered by – Island surrounded by Pacific Ocean and East China Sea
Language - Japanese
Climate - Subtropical summer 72.3F, winter 60.8F
National Disasters - Typhoons and monsoons
Religion - Shinto, Buddhism, Taoism, and Christian
Population - 127.63 million (2008)
Government - Constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary government (May 3, 1947)
Prime Minister Head of Government- Taro Aso
Sovereignty, previously embodied in the emperor, is vested in the Japanese people, and the Emperor is defined as the symbol of the state. Japan's Government is a parliamentary democracy, with a House of Representatives (also known as the Lower House) and a House of Councilors (sometimes called the Upper House). Executive power is vested in a cabinet composed of a prime minister and ministers of state, all of whom must be civilians. The prime minister must be a member of the Diet and is designated by his colleagues. The prime minister has the power to appoint and remove ministers, a majority of whom must be Diet members.
Natural resources - Fish and few mineral resources
Agriculture - Products--rice, vegetables, fruit, milk, meat, silk, fish
Currency - Yen 
Marine Parents blog