MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. (June 4, 2013) --
Every day Marines pass each other on Marine Corps Base Quantico, give the proper greeting of the day and maybe even grunt a motivational word or two. Rarely do they know the heroic stories and experiences that fill the boots of the brother or sister they’ve just passed. Sgt. Brandan Jansen, team captain of the Combat Shooting Team, Marine Corps Shooting Team, Weapons Training Battalion, is one of those Marines.
“We got a call early in the morning,” said Jansen. “A six-member sniper team was being attacked.”
The father of two girls, three and nine years old, has served eight years in various stations and been deployed three times, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. It was in Afghanistan that the sergeant got the call about the snipers.
“We went in after them,” said Jansen. “On the way, one of our vehicles was hit by an improvised explosive device so I led a team in by foot to get the snipers out.”
“He’s real dedicated to everything he does,” said Sgt. John Browning, instructor/competitor, Combat Shooting Team.
“Jansen is a very strong character,” said Chief Warrant Officer 3 Thomas Layou, officer in charge of the Combat Shooting Team. “He’s very dedicated to being the best.”
After we started in by foot, said Jansen, we came under fire and one of my lance corporals was shot and killed. We returned his body to our base and went back for the snipers.
In total, Jansen risked his life four times to rescue his comrades.
“We got them out,” said Jansen. “Some lost arms and legs, but all of them are alive and most are functioning well.”
His determination is not only seen on the battlefield, but in everything the sergeant does. Since Afghanistan, Jansen has completed the Marine Scout Sniper School, graduating with the highest physical fitness score of his class. He also consistently remains in the top 10 percent of the world in the 3-Gun competition.
“Jansen has a competitor’s mindset and it shows in everything he does,” said Layou. “He pushes himself, no matter if he’s on the range, in a competition or in a classroom setting.”
Jansen credits learning from good leadership and having moral strength for his success. The machine gunner’s advice to other Marines is to maintain integrity in their training.
“Make sure you train hard,” said Jansen. “Train like you fight. That’s why I’ve made it through three nasty deployments.”