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Sergeant Justin Millsap of Task Force 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5 stands before the detainee collection point in Camp Al Qaâ??im, Iraq, April 8. Millsap, a native of Tonganoxie, Kan., is the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the detainee collection point and is also the battalionâ??s Career Retention Specialist. ::r::::n:: (Photo by Cpl. Billy Hall)::r::::n::

Photo by Cpl. Billy Hall

Double time: Marine goes the extra mile

9 Apr 2008 | Cpl. Billy Hall

The ability to multi-task is an attribute that most Marines develop early in their career. This can be especially true in a deployed environment, where resources and personnel are utilized to the fullest.

As part of a battalion that is spread across a vast area of operations in western al- Anbar, Iraq, Sgt. Justin Millsap of Task Force 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, tackles two full-time jobs on a daily basis, showing the commitment and potential of a Marine with a mission.

Surrounded by concertina wire and a contingent of insurgents, Millsap, 30, a native of Tonganoxie, Kan., is the noncommissioned officer-in-charge of the detainee collection point here, a duty he performs in addition to his primary job as the battalion’s career retention specialist.

Millsap said he views his experiences of handling two demanding jobs as a chance to learn and grow.

“I’m always excited to take on new challenges,” said Millsap. “Having a variety of skill sets is only going to help you, even when you eventually move on from the Marine Corps.”

Moving on from the Marine Corps, though, is not what Millsap said he has in mind for himself or for those who seek his counsel for re-enlistment information.

Career retention specialists are tasked with providing information on career opportunities and helping individuals set themselves up for success within the Marine Corps. Recently, the Marine Corps has taken measures to ensure Marines are well compensated for re-enlistment, and Millsap has felt the impact.

“This year the Marine Corps is paying out an unprecedented amount of bonus money, so the amount of cash Marines can get as a monetary incentive for re-enlisting is higher than it’s ever been,” said Millsap. “Fiscal year 2009 first-term Marines now have the ability to submit for re-enlistment while they’re still deployed to take advantage of combat zone tax exclusion. Combine that with ongoing operations that cause me to have detainees, and it’s quite a work load.”

As with most Marines who work exhausting schedules while on deployment, Millsap has found an outlet to releases the stresses of his workload.

“I try to get a little bit of practice on my golf game when I have some downtime out here,” said Millsap. “I’m trying to keep my proficiency level up to where it was before I left to come out here.”

Millsap, who hopes to play on an All-Marine golf team in the near future, participates in any golf event the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Center hosts.

As 3rd Bn., 2nd Marines nears the end of its deployment, Millsap’s extra duties will soon come to a rewarding halt, though his desire to do all he can to help Marines choose their path will continue to carry on. His experiences in al-Qa’im will only help him to guide Marines, knowing that a Marines work ethic is the key to a successful and versatile career path.

“I want to make sure they do as much as they can to build their Marine resume,” said Millsap. “The key is for junior Marines to seek out the knowledge of Marines that have come before them.”

 

 


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