News: Marines, sailors compete during 3rd MLG’s 55th anniversary
Story by Lance Cpl. Jose Lujano
CAMP KINSER, Japan - Activated in 1958 as 3rd Force Service Regiment, 3rd Marine Logistics Group has seen many changes throughout its history. However, one thing remains unchanged; the Marines have always been committed to delivering exemplary combat service support to service members deployed and in garrison.
Marines and sailors with 3rd MLG, III Marine Expeditionary Force, celebrated the unit’s 55th anniversary with a unit run and a field meet May 24 at Camp Kinser.
“The 3rd MLG has just finished a very successful and operationally packed year,” said Brig. Gen. Niel E. Nelson, the 3rd MLG commanding general. “Supporting 44 exercises and operations in 11 countries with over 3,000 Marines and sailors deployed in support of III MEF and Operation Enduring Freedom has really shown the value of 3rd MLG.”
The Marines, sailors and families of 3rd MLG have built upon the accomplishments of those who came before, creating a great atmosphere of camaraderie, trust and fun, according to Nelson.
“Our Marines and sailors are the heartbeat of 3rd MLG,” said Nelson. “They are true professionals, and it feels great to be in 3rd MLG.”
The Marines and sailors showed their pride by displaying their guidons as they ran in formation around the base.
“There is no way to describe the feeling you get when you carry the 3rd MLG guidon high in the air,” said Cpl. Leo M. Murray, a motor vehicle operator with CLR 37, 3rd MLG, III MEF. “I could only think about how honored we are to serve with this stupendous group. It opened my eyes that we will be part of 3rd MLG’s illustrious history.”
The logistics capacity, expertise and can-do spirit Marines and sailors embody in the regiments and battalions within 3rd MLG is unmatched, according to Nelson.
“The resident expertise, whether it is transportation, engineering, supply, medical, dental or maintenance, is outstanding,” said Nelson. “3rd MLG has made a reputation for building junior leaders by putting them out on independent support missions around the Asia-Pacific region. They have honed their skills, increased their supported units readiness, and maintained and proven their worth on many occasions.”
The event offered an opportunity for all of 3rd MLG’s subordinate units to take a break from their usual duties and build camaraderie by competing in various events at the field meet, such as pugil stick bouts, obstacle course relays, a tug-of-war, volleyball tournament and a chariot race.
“Being out here with my fellow Marines has been a great experience,” said Murray. “I look forward to more events like this with the group.”
As partners to many Pacific nations, 3rd MLG Marines and sailors have made friends with armed forces across the region and developed partner capacity, according to Nelson.
“Additionally, Okinawa provides a historical and strategic context that doesn’t exist if you are U.S.-based,” said Nelson. “So when commemorating this occasion, I would like to acknowledge, recognize and thank our host nation and its community members. 3rd MLG Marines and sailors continue to be good U.S. ambassadors and maintain the highest levels of professionalism, both on and off duty.”
Whether it was 3rd Force Service Regiment or 3rd Force Service Support Group or now 3rd Marine Logistics Group, the mission of operational logistics support to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force remains the same, according to Nelson.
“3rd MLG has supported deployments to every conflict the U.S. has been involved in over the past 55 years,” said Nelson. “This past year, I saw two battalions, 9th Engineer Support Battalion and Combat Logistics Battalion 4, return from a seven-month deployment to OEF, and both units received accolades for their performance.”
Without the Marines and sailors’ hard work and dedication through selfless acts to achieve the mission, the history of 3rd MLG would be carved differently, according to Gunnery Sgt. Santo Rivera, the motor transportation operations chief with General Support Motor Transport Company, CLR 3, 3rd MLG, III MEF.
“Triumph is won through logistics, but without the Marines’ constant sacrifice for mission success victory would not be achievable,” said Rivera. “The hard work that these Marines put in is similar to the work of our predecessors, who have left us a proud legacy to maintain.”
As service members look into the future, it is imperative to look back to their shared history, according to Rivera.
“Overall, the Corps knows that 3rd MLG can ensure our warfighters are properly equipped and supplied to execute their mission,” said Rivera. “We are part of something spectacular. Therefore, we must remember to commemorate our group lineage by striving every day to train harder than the day before.”
Nelson closed the celebration addressing the Marines and sailors of 3rd MLG.
“The celebration provides the opportunity to unite each regiment and battalion of 3rd MLG and rejoice in the exemplary performance of the group,” said Nelson.