Today’s #YOUAREGOVX member served with the Marines at MCAS Miramar, just up the road from the GovX headquarters. Josh served two tours in support of Operation: Iraqi Freedom. His perspective on Marine Corps brotherhood caught our attention, and we think it’ll catch yours too. Be sure to leave him a comment below. Semper Fi.
I joined the Marine Corps in 2005 when I was 20 years old, and was trained as a calibration technician. I was stationed in San Diego aboard MCAS Miramar with the 3rd Marine Air Wing. I calibrated precision electronic equipment that was used to keep the aircraft operational and flying. Everything from making sure our torque wrenches were working correctly to adjusting and testing avionics equipment such as radar altimeters and Identify Friend or Foe systems. I deployed twice to Iraq in support of OIF, once in 2007 and again in 2008. I was honorably discharged in 2010.
On Marine Corps brotherhood.
When I joined the Corps I met people from walks of life that I otherwise never would have met. They all had different backgrounds, different life stories and experiences. You train with these guys and you live with these guys every day. When you spend that much time with another person in the kind of environment that the military exposes you to, you form a bond. I think of my fellow Marines in the same way I think of my actual brothers. I would do anything for the Marines I served with, and I know they would do the same for me.
I WOULD DO ANYTHING FOR THE MARINES I SERVED WITH, AND I KNOW THEY WOULD DO THE SAME FOR ME.
If you get that phone call at 2:00 in the morning from a fellow Marine saying that he's had a bit too much to drink and doesn't believe he can make it back to base safely ... without a thought, you get dressed and go get them and bring them back safe, because you are truly concerned about their safety. There are a handful of guys that I know would do that for me, and I would for them. I know they have my back no matter what. It could be something small like that, or it could be huge, like them covering you in combat. I didn't even have to think about it, I knew I had guys that would give their lives to protect me and I'd give mine to protect them.
It's a very strong and unique bond. I don't think it's the kind of thing you can find anywhere outside the military. It is actually the thing I miss most since getting out of the Corps. Even now, five years after serving together we all still keep in touch and see each other occasionally. And I'd give any one of them the shirt off my back if they needed it, and I know they would drop everything and come help me if I needed it. Those individuals are my brothers, and they will be for the rest of my life.
A humbling moment in Qatar.
On my first deployment to Iraq we got to go to Qatar for a short break. I signed up for a tour of the city of Doha. I was on a bus with a bunch of Marines and soldiers, sitting there in Doha waiting for a few other people to board before we headed back to base. When suddenly, a man jumped onto the bus and caught us all by surprise. I remember thinking the worst was about to happen—“That’s it, we’re done for.” But all he did was bring his two sons on board, and walked the aisle with his boys shaking our hands and thanking us for our help. He wanted us to know that his family appreciated us being there and that the people we were fighting weren't a fair representation of Muslims. That really stuck with me.
On keeping things operational.
Sometimes you get so busy in the job you lose sight of the bigger picture. The equipment would come in, and I’d fix it and send it back out. I’d get into this automatic way of working, and I’d need to remind myself that the job I was doing was contributing directly to the mission. We’re just this small shop of about 20 Marines, and we’re responsible for ensuring that all the avionics test equipment for the rotary wing on MCAS Miramar worked correctly. Every single helicopter that left that flight line was in some way impacted by the work we did. You have to trust your abilities and training as well as your fellow Marines to get the job done. That is a pretty big responsibility. Seems pretty daunting, but we all knew our strengths and weaknesses, and worked as a team to get things all done and maintain a high state of readiness. Knowing the safety of a helicopter full of Marines flying a mission somewhere could in part be attributed to the work I was doing kept me at my best. I didn’t want to let them down.
Life after active duty.
Right now I’m working in the bio-pharmaceutical industry doing much of the same type of thing I was doing in the Corps. I calibrate test equipment used by companies making and testing pharmaceuticals and other life science applications.
Outside of work, I enjoy camping and the outdoors, going to the range and spending time with my wife and two boys. We go to a lot of museums and parks. The kids and I also love anything aviation related.
Live every day without regrets. As I look back on my life so far, every choice I have made has led me to where I am today, and I couldn't be happier.