Skip to comments.Wahpeton, N.D., native supports front lines
Posted on 02/11/2006 2:02:57 PM PST by SandRat
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq (Feb. 11, 2006) -- There are more than 22,000 Marines with II Marine Expeditionary Force units deployed in Iraq. Many of them are serving on the front lines, outside the wire, however, they would not be operating successfully without having proper administrative support backing them.
Administrative Marines like Sgt. Jeffery P. Kast, an administration clerk with Combat Logistics Battalion-8, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward), routinely ensure Marines within their respective units have continuous administrative support.
For my office, our day-to-day tasks are to make sure that Marines in our battalion are being taken care of administratively, Kast admits. Making sure their personal, training and pay information stays updated, correct and making sure that all questions are being answered in a timely manner.
Although Iraq is a combat zone with many potential dangers, Kast explained his family understands why he became a Marine and knows he has a job to do even if the Corps deploys him here.
My whole family supports me and my brother Joe who is also a Marine, the Wahpeton, N.D., native said. No matter how much we tell my mother not to worry about us, she always responds, Im a mother. It is my job to worry. I have the best support a Marine can have.
Kast raised his right hand at a Military Entrance Processing Station in June of 2000 because he wanted to better himself both mentally and physically.
I knew what the Marine Corps was like before I joined because my uncle and brother are Marines, Kast said. Seeing how the Corps helped and changed them I knew that thats what I needed to do. And so far, everything that I expected has happened and I am grateful.
Kast placed his feet on the famed yellow footprints of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Calif., in June of 2001, which coincidentally was his 19th birthday.
Shortly thereafter, he attended the Administrative Clerk Course at the Personnel Administration School at Camp Johnson, N.C., where he learned correspondence, terminology and the basic structure of how the administrative side of the Marine Corps operates.
His first duty station was Camp Lejeune, N.C. This was an opportune place to hone not only his occupation, but also his basic understanding of how Marines conduct themselves outside of a training environment. When he finishes his job here, he will return to Lejeune to continue his work for the Corps.
My job here is [completely] different than my job in the rear, Kast said. Out here I am the admin chief for the battalion. In the rear I was the staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the promotions section as well as the NCOIC of the customer service section of Group Consolidated Administration Center
While at Lejeune, he went on his first deployment to Kuwait for Operation Enduring Freedom, which he says helped shape him into the Marine he is today.
[That] deployment was a lot rougher than this one, Kast said truthfully. We worked in GP tents, lived in canvas tents and we didnt get a choice of food. Here you actually live in little trailers and the [dining facility] is like a Golden Corral
Before deploying a second time to come here, Kast re-enlisted in October of 2003.
I re-enlisted because I still enjoy what I do: being a Marine, Kast explained. I love the environment, everyday challenges, leading my Marines and watching them excel, improving myself through my Marines and basically knowing that I am a part of a group that helps defend our countrys freedom.
If a Marine on the front line is getting paid the right amount of money each month, has a current and up-to-date training record and gets help with his Marine Corps Institute examinations, then Kast knows he is doing his job well.
It is just like the civilian world; if youre not getting paid or the recognition that you deserve [is not there], then you would probably quit your job to look for another one, Kast said. So by the Marines of CLB-8 knowing they have some great administrators here that are looking out for them, theyre going to do their job the best way they know how.
SEMPER FI PING
Great attitude, something a lot of Civilian workers should take to heart.
Wahpeton, N.D. -- doesn't Cargill have a large processing facility there?
Despite what the media says, many enlistee's are not dead end ghetto kids, but small town kids looking for bigger opportunities. I was one, and found it in the Air Force... which I am forever grateful!