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Old 12-16-2003, 05:46 AM
thedrifter thedrifter is offline
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Cool LAR says sayonara after 9-month deployment

LAR says sayonara after 9-month deployment
Submitted by: MCB Camp Butler
Story Identification Number: 2003121118837
Story by Lance Cpl. Ryan Walker

CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa, Japan -- After three months active service in Operation Enduring Freedom and six months in the unit deployment program, reserve Light Armored Reconnaissance Marines from Salt Lake City returned home Dec. 9.

One hundred forty-nine Marines of Co. "C", 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Bn., currently assigned as LAR Co., Combat Assault Bn., were activated in April to join operations in Iraq.

"These Marines have responded with pride and honor. They have been able to adapt to an active duty environment seamlessly, there is no question that a Marine is a Marine," said Maj. Doug K. Clark, company commander. "We don't want to be known as reserve Marines, just Marines."

All of 4th LAR's companies were forward deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom, however "C" Co. was continually forward deployed after they served in the Middle East, according to Clark.

In June the company was pulled out of Iraq and flown to Okinawa for training in preparation for their UDP assignment as LAR Co. for CAB.

"The training in Okinawa has been fast and furious," said Clark. "We've been training non-stop since we've been deployed."

This deployment and the exercises they have been involved in is historic for these Marines because they are the first reserve unit to be deployed as part of a Marine Expeditionary Unit during their deployment here.

Reserve units train just like active duty Marines but only one weekend a month and two weeks during the summer.

"We weren't used to it at first, but it wasn't that bad," said Cpl. Matt A. Topham, gunner, with "C" Co., CAB.

"Marines described their deployments as the best field training and field operations they have ever done," said Clark.

"We've proven out here that we can do our mission as reservists," said LCpl. Rudy W. Scherzinger, driver, assigned to "C" Co., CAB.

The Marines took this unique chance and used it to their advantage to develop as a company.

Throughout their training the company has been deployed to Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Russia, Korea, Australia, Philippines, Timor, Hong Kong, and mainland Japan.

"The opportunity to visit foreign countries has been a great opportunity for these Marines," said Clark. "You can't quantify these experiences."

Another amazing fact about these Marines is that during their nine months of active duty there have been zero liberty-related offenses, according to Clark.

"These Marines go out on liberty status and perform like gentleman, like the Corps expects them to," said Clark.

"General John A. Lejeune once said that a man should be better off after serving in the Marine Corps, physically, mentally, and morally. This company has met this ideal," said Ron G. Dickenson, company first sergeant.

CAMP SCHWAB, Okinawa, Japan - Reserve Marines from Company C, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, currently assigned as Light Armored Reconnaissance Company, Combat Assault Battalion, participate in training exercises in the Philippine Islands. On Dec. 9 these Marines are slated to return home to their reserve unit in Salt Lake City. Photo by: Cpl M. Stew Allen


SSgt. Roger A.
One Proud Marine
Once A Marine............Always A Marine.............
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