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U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Christina Burdick, military police, Security Battalion, is featured in the project titled 12 Faces on the Frontline at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, Dec. 25, 2021. MCCLEP officers and military police play a vital role in base security and work around the clock to ensure the safety of service members and their families. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Mitchell Johnson)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Mitchell Johnson

Holidays on the frontlines

27 Jan 2022 | Cpl. AaRron Smith Marine Corps Base Quantico

Each access point at Marine Corps Base Quantico, as well as The Marine Corps Museum, is overseen by military police and Marine Corps Civilian Law Enforcement Program officers with the Provost Marshal Office (PMO). These men and women serve as the first line of defense for the base and are vigilant day and night protecting Quantico’s gates.

“Security of the installation is our top priority and is an enduring requirement,” said Maj. Aaron Wellman, provost marshal for Marine Corps Base Quantico. “Holiday or not, inclement weather or not, we always have people on post to ensure the safety and security of the installation and our populations.”

Wellman, a native of Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the many officers who stay on post during the holidays to manage and supervise his fellow PMO personnel. Although he isn’t normally able to go home to see family, Wellman recognizes the importance of his job. “I think it’s an honor that we are able to provide this service for the installation and its populations,” said Wellman.

Throughout the year, gate sentries consistently stand guard, checking the identification of the thousands of vehicles that come through the base daily, however, officers see a drastic decrease in traffic and on-base responses during the holidays. For Wellman, any decrease in urgency is an opportunity to send as many Marines home for the holidays as he can.

“It’s always a great day to be able to send people home for the holidays so they can celebrate with their families,” Wellman said. “Here in the agency, we celebrate as much as we can while still meeting our mission requirements.”

While the Marines and civilians of PMO protect the homes and businesses on the installation, it’s important to use the holiday season as a chance to see loved ones and spread holiday cheer.

“We here at the Provost Marshal’s Office would like to wish the personnel on Marine Corps Base Quantico a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year,” said Wellman.

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