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Lance Cpl. Austin Daniels, travel clerk, gets in the prone position and provides security during a Finance Section Field Operation at the landing zone “Thrush” aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on March 27, 2013. Several of the Marines that participated in the operation had never flown in a CH-46E "Sea Knight” aircraft before.

Photo by Cpl. Antwaun Jefferson

Finance drops pens, picks up rifles

31 Mar 2013 | Cpl. Antwaun L. Jefferson Marine Corps Base Quantico

Even without deployment opportunities in sight, Marines go to the field and “get some.” This is exactly what the Marine Corps Combat Development Command’s Finance Office did during a five-day field operation on the west side of base from March 25-29.

The goal of the operation was to conduct a five-day field evolution to demonstrate and improve the combat readiness of the Finance Office Marines

“This type of operation was done two and a half years ago, but it was only for a day,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Bradley Newton, finance chief, Finance Office. “We decided to expand to an entire week and incorporate many things the finance Marines don’t normally get a chance to do in here at Quantico.”

Most of the training the Marines took part in was completely new to them or had only been briefed in the past, but they never actually executed it. Yet, all were ready and willing to show their leadership what they could do.

“This type of training is great for lance corporals and newly promoted noncommissioned officers,” said Cpl. Alex Dore, finance technician, Finance Office. “Even though it puts Marines in the combat mindset, it also teaches the importance of accountability, time management, morale and leadership that is used in our unit.”

The activities the Marines participated in included: humps with their Improved Load Bearing Equipment packs; training in the Virtual Convoy Combat Trainer, Humvee Egress Assistance Trainer and the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Egress Trainer; patrolling; clearing tent sites; Military Occupation Specialties training; improvised explosive device training; using simulated rounds during military operations on urban terrain and flying aboard CH-46E "Sea Knights,” courtesy of Marine Helicopter Squadron 1.

There were plenty Finance Office staff workers, officers and outside agencies that had their hands on this operation and without them, this exercise would not have been possible. Units involved included, but were not limited to, the Communications Electronics Division, Supply, Food Service, Communications School, Ammo Supply Point and Motor Transportation.

These Marines endured the lows of being in the blistering cold, when it snowed March 25 while setting up tents, and the enjoyed the highs of MOUT facility using simulated rounds. Toward the end of the operation, Newton went on to say that, no matter what the mission was, no matter the obstacle, these Marines held their own and were enthusiastic, motivated and their morale was set on high. And, whether it was patrolling or going on humps, the leadership had complete confidence in their Marine’s abilities to accomplish each and every task.

“First and foremost, they are Marines,” said Maj. Thomas Sims, finance officer, Finance Office. “We sit in an office for a majority of our time. We go to the rifle range and conduct physical training but there are a lot of basic Marine skills that we do not utilize that we need and this is a great reminder of why we wear the uniform.”

Marine Corps Base Quantico