MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- Without them, training would cease to exist. Without them, the crucial supplies needed for units to continue training would sit unordered, dusty and unused in a warehouse. Marines would not have access to the needed gear that could save their lives all the way down to the simple necessities, such as toilet paper, if it wasn’t for the Marines in the supply military occupation specialty.
Supply Marines’ days are filled with a variety of obligations to ensure everything is accounted for and issued to the units.
“A day in supply consists of the management, transport, delivery and or pick-up of gear for every training unit on Camp Wilson, along with the support detachments,” said Cpl. Lawrence Shadden, supply administrative clerk. “We work from 7 a.m. to 1700 [5 p.m.] every day, to include the weekends.”
Supply is responsible for a variety of items from chemical lights and pens to small arms protective inserts and humvee batteries. They keep the Marine Corps up to date on issued gear and are constantly dealing with the returning and issuing of gear. At Camp Wilson, with five battalions currently on deck, supply is staying busy.
“The hard part right now is keeping up with the demand and making sure everyone is getting what they need,” said Shadden. “We are incredibly busy right now.”
The supply Marines at Camp Wilson are always on call and along with ordering, stocking and issuing supplies, are in charge of the monetary accounts as well.
Many have strong feelings on what supply means to the Marine Corps.
“The Marine Corps without supply would be a bunch of guys standing around waiting to kill something but without any guns to do it with,” said Shadden. “We are the heart of the unit, we pump out all the materials that are needed.”
Camp Wilson supply chief, Staff Sgt. Bryan Tellez agrees that supply is a central part to the operation of the Marine Corps.
“I would say supply itself is the lungs of the Corps,” said Tellez. “We branch out to so many people, without us, units would not be able to function. Units come out and we’re their vital support. If we fail them, it could stop all training. So we do their bidding, whatever they need we get for them.”
While at times the demand and rush of things at Camp Wilson gets stressful, Marines still feel success when the job is completed and training is running smoothly.
“I was thanked by a master sergeant today,” said Cpl. Clinton Manigault, due and status file noncommissioned officer-in-charge. “It’s a feeling of accomplishment when higher-up’s need gear and they are panicking, thinking you can’t get it and when you do, they are thankful. It feels good.”
While Marines continue to fight overseas and to train stateside, support units will continue to help the cause, providing Marines the essentials for training.
While supply is only one support element out of many, without it Marines would be powerless and in harm’s way without protective equipment issued to them. As long as Marines are in the fight, there will be those Marines in the fight right beside them, guiding them and ensuring they are set up for success.