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Lance Cpl. Brennan R. Beall, 22, an administrative clerk with 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, from Many Farms, Ariz., prepares his seven-ton truck at Combat Outpost Haditha, Iraq, May 26. Beall has been serving as a machine gunner for Truck Platoon, 3rd Bn., 4th Marines during the battalionâ??s deployment to Iraq. He has also been used as a driver. Marines with backgrounds in communication, administration and supply have been providing convoy security during re-supply missions.

Photo by Cpl. Erik Villagran

Every Marine a rifleman

26 May 2008 | Cpl. Erik Villagran 1st Marine Division

Lance Cpl. Brennan R. Beall never thought when he joined the Marine Corps as an administrative clerk he’d be a gunner for convoys, but he’s enjoying every part of his new role.

Beall, 22, from Many Farms, Ariz., has been filling the billet of a turret gunner for Trucks Platoon, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 5, during his deployment in Iraq. It’s a duty he likes having.

“I’m in charge of protecting the convoy from insurgents,” Beall said. “Having that responsibility is the coolest part of the job.”

Truck Platoon is being defended by Marines from multiple military occupational specialties. Marines who come from communication, supply and administration are serving as convoy security while deployed in Iraq.

It’s the change that they are enjoying.

“Before I came to Trucks Platoon, I was taking care of Marines travel orders,” Beall said. “I was behind a desk and doing a lot of paperwork.”

Now, Beall finds himself scanning the Iraq scenery in search of anything suspicious. He would have spent time in one office if he stayed in his original job, but now he travels to every combat outpost in the battalion’s area of operations re-supplying Marines.

Adjusting to the new role wasn’t easy. The platoon didn’t mesh well immediately because they all came from different backgrounds. Despite the early differences, slowly but surely, the unit began to work together. During pre-deployment training, they bonded and sharpened their proficiency.

“At Mojave Viper we started trusting each other,” Beall said. “We’ve definitely grown a lot since we first became a platoon.”

The trust within the platoon has enabled them to accomplish their mission in Iraq efficiently.

“We do our job, and we do it well,” said Lance Cpl. Jordan B. Yager, 21, a motor transport mechanic from Modesto, Calif. “There’s not much you can complain about as far as our performance.”

 The attitude motor transport Marines have about their gunners shows how far the convoy security has come. They have erased any doubt that Marines once had when the platoon was first assembled.

“At first I thought it was a bad idea,” Yager said. “Now, I feel safe having them as security. They take the job seriously.”

1st Marine Division