News: Putting the Moto in Motivate
Story by Lance Cpl. Antwaun Jefferson
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. - No matter if it’s close order drill or clearing a building, a Motivator will arise and keep their fellow Marines on the task at hand while showing the traits of a full born leader. As the Finance Office aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico, took part in a five-day field operation, Lance Cpl. Kiall Wright and Cpl. Bethany Booth, both financial dispersers, took the reins and showed their unit what being a motivator was all about.
Most of the training the Marines took parts in – including as Virtual Convoy Combat Trainer and flying aboard a CH-46E "Sea Knight” -- was completely new to them. Yet, these two Marines dug deep as they led their other Marines during the operation.
Wright’s squad leader, Sgt. Alex Fuller, said he voted for him as one of the most motivated Marines during the operation for understanding the missions, never hesitating to ask questions, and when things were bad, he knew exactly what to say or do to boost the squad’s morale and get them back in the combat mindset.
“I love the field,” Wright said. “My motivation out there came from picking up new tactics, going through the missions and picking up the spirit of the Marines around me.”
According to Wright, one of his shining moments was on patrol where his sergeant, who was directing everyone, went down and could no longer tell his fire team anything about where to go or what to do. After shifting positions, Wright took over the squad, helped push through the mission while trying to keep everyone calm and collected as nerves rushed and many found it hard to focus on the task at hand.
“The field is always fun,” Wright said. “But there is a beginning and an end. So, while we were out there, we were building new bonds and strengthening the old ones within the unit. And that is something we can’t take for granted.”
Booth’s squad leader, Cpl. Edwin Velasquez, said he voted her as one of the most motivated Marines during the operation because she was always full of motivation and never showed any signs of not wanting to be there or do the job she was assigned. And if she was given a task, it was done in an expedient manner with no excuses behind it, said Velasquez “When you hear ‘field,’ you think: dirty, sweaty, no showers and sleepy,” Booth said. “Master Gunnery Sergeant [Bradley Newton, finance chief,] broke the situation down for us. He mentioned that we mainly sit behind desk and do paper work. We don’t really do what we join the Marine Corps for. So this is a good opportunity to get back to the bases. When he said that, I think everyone’s mind changed and was ready to get things going.”
Booth believes one of her shining moments was during the Military Operations on Urban Terrain with simulated rounds.
While clearing houses, two members of her fire team went down and she took control of the situation. She told the remaining member in her team to get behind her and protect the flank as they went to clear the last building. As soon as those words were uttered, an aggressor came out and began shooting. Booth could have stayed in a low position where she had cover, but knew that if she did her team member would have been shot. Instead she covered him by standing and shooting at the aggressor. Booth was hit with simulated rounds multiple times as a result.
“Even though we are looked at as desk jockeys or pencil pushers, we are still Marines,” Booth said. “And when things get real, we will always revert back to basics and go into that combat mindset.”