Marine Corps Reserve

I spent over five years at Floyd Bennett Field, a Marine Corps Reserve Station in Brooklyn New York! My mission there was to train Marine Corps Reservists in Communications. The station was at the end of Flatbush Avenue that went from the Brooklyn Naval Station to Floyd Bennett Field very close to John F. Kennedy Airport. At one point Floyd Bennett Field was an active military airport so there were many long runways that I spent many hours running on. Three times a week we ran! Three miles on Monday and Wednesday and five every Friday for five year!

Training and working with Marine Corps Reserve Marines is an amazing experience. I developed a lot of great relationships with many of the Marines. They transformed from civilians into Marines one weekend a month, and two weeks during the summer. In New York about half the Marine Corps Reservists were Police Officers. The stories that were told were fantastic. Being a Police Officer in New York was an experience that matched up perfectly with being a Marine.

One of the jokes that we used to say was that about half the Marine Corps Reserve Marines were Policies Officers and the other half were the criminals. Now of course this wasn’t true but having known some of the others it sure made you wonder. The interesting thing is that if a conflict broke out somewhere in the world I would have gone to war with them. When you know that there is a chance that you may have to fight side by side with someone, you get close like you can’t believe. Trust becomes very important!

A Marine Corps Reserve Station is a place where planning and training never stops. Our sole mission is to be ready to go to war. Continually checking equipment, training on it, testing it, and using it, is your mission. I spent many hours side by side with these guys. When you are doing physical fitness training which never ends in the Marine Corps, you talk when you run. You talk about your dreams! You talk about your family! You talk about your problems! Nothing gets left out!

The two weeks during the summer we took the Marine Corps Reserve Unit to Camp LeJeune North Carolina. Just to put things into perspective in the five years I was assigned to this unit two Marines were killed in training. Like I mentioned earlier training is taken very serious. There are no second chances in War! Your mission is to kill them before they kill you! When you know that this is the challenge, training becomes so much more important!

Even though I left the Marine Corps Unit in 1987 I often think about these guys. I wonder if there were any of them that went to Iraq and Afghanistan. More importantly I wonder if they all made it back alive. Although I often joked about going to war with them I would have been proud to fight beside any of them. There is a camaraderie that Marines share that I have not found with any other group I have been around since being out. Even now when I meet another Marine we have an instant connection. From United States Marine Corps Boot Camp to the day you leave active duty as a Marine you form a bond like no other!

Good Luck and May God Bless You!

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