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Orvel Ronk, an antiterrorism officer for Marine Corps Base Quantico, gave an active shooter and workplace violence brief to Marines of the Maintenance Logistics Branch on March 6, 2014. Ronk said that awareness is the best protection against an active shooter and workplace violence.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Samuel Ellis

Marines train for active shooter

6 Mar 2014 | Lance Cpl. Samuel Ellis

“They are there for one reason and one reason only, mass murder,” said Orvel Ronk, an antiterrorism officer for Marine Corps Base Quantico, to the 11 Marines sitting in a semi-circle around him in a trailer acting as an office space aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico on March 6, 2014.

Ronk was conducting an active shooter and workplace violence brief for the Marines of Maintenance Logistics Branch, a section of the base G6, and was explaining to them the reality of an active-shooter situation.

“Anybody, anytime, anywhere can be an active shooter,” said Ronk. “The best protection against an active shooter and workplace violence is awareness.”

Ronk spent about an hour teaching the service members about the history of active shooter incidents such as the Fort Hood shooting, behavioral indicators of active shooters and actions to take if they were put into an active shooter emergency; such as: escaping, hiding and when to attempt to disrupt the shooter.

“Nobody is immune from it, and it just comes down to increasing your chance of survival,” said Ronk. “The worst thing you can do is absolutely nothing.”

Preparation is the main reason that the MLB section asked Ronk to provide the professional military education event for them.

“I would like our Marines to be educated on potential active shooters in the work environment,” said Sgt. Marcin Wrzoszczyk, MLB platoon sergeant. “We plan on doing this every year from now on as an annual requirement.”

Although the training is not an actual annual requirement, Ronk has presented the training more than 100 times in the past year for various units across the base and said it’s not hard to schedule.

“It’s as simple as calling or e-mailing me at 703-432-0763, or orvel.ronk@usmc.mil,” said Ronk. “[The key is] awareness, not turning away just because you think something is different. Don’t be afraid to address it.”

Correspondent: samuel.l.ellis@usmc.mil