News Icon

News: Flyby: Sgt. Ray A. Finalay

Story by Pfc. Cayce NeversSmall RSS IconSubscriptions Icon

Flyby: Sgt. Ray A. Finlay Pfc. Cayce Nevers

Sgt. Ray A. Finlay, a KC-130J crew master with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, stands in front of one of the aircraft he works with Friday. KC-130J crew masters are responsible to help support whatever mission the aircraft is on at the time of the fight. They help with aerial refueling by observing and operating the aerial refueling panel, help during drop missions and more.

CHERRY POINT, N.C. - Sgt. Ray A. Finlay lives his life defying the odds and continuously rises above the challenges he faces.

When entering the Marine Corps, the KC-130J Hercules crew master with Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252, did not even know the job he currently works in existed.

“I enlisted with an aircrew contract and originally, I thought I would be on a helicopter,” he said. “But I couldn’t have picked a better job.”

KC-130J crew masters are responsible for supporting a variety of missions the ‘Hercs’ can be used for, including aerial refueling, rapid ground refueling, troop and cargo transportation and close air support. During aerial refueling operations, they observe and operate the aerial refueling panel.

With only three Hercules squadrons in the Marine Corps, Finlay and his coworkers are afforded the opportunity to travel to many locations.

“Travel is my favorite aspect,” said Finlay. “I get to go to a lot of different places, pretty much all over the world.”

Aside from the joys of traveling, he also lives for the everyday challenges of working with his squadron.

“Every day brings a different mission, a different task to be carried out,” he said. “We can go from one mission the aircraft can perform to another. We are that flexible and that is a challenge.”

Although the many members of the squadron are frequently deployed to one area or another, unit cohesion remains strong.

“It is a very tight-knit community,” he said. “Our community is very small in the Marine Corps. There are very few people in the community you don’t know.”

Connected Media
ImagesFlyby: Sgt. Ray A. Finlay
Sgt. Ray A. Finlay, a KC-130J crew master with Marine...

Web Views

Podcast Hits

Public Domain Mark
This work, Flyby: Sgt. Ray A. Finalay, by PFC Cayce Nevers, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:08.08.2013

Date Posted:08.15.2013 10:03


More Like This

  • Brig. Gen. Thomas A. Gory, commanding general of Marine Corps Installations East, and Sgt. Maj. Ernest K. Hoopii, sergeant major of MCIEAST, visited Cherry Point June 24 to discuss important subjects with the Marines, Sailors and civilians who maintain Cherry Point’s operations.
  • Highlighting Cherry Point's Warriors.
  • Sgt. Maj. Christopher J. Campbell was welcomed back to Cherry Point to assume the post of sergeant major of Marine Wing Support Squadron 271 June 19.
  • Sgt. Michael A. Pickett was enjoying a relaxing Saturday swimming at Atlantic Beach July 6, but all that changed when he saw someone on shore begin to shout and point toward the water.


  • Army
  • Marines
  • Navy
  • Air Force
  • Coast Guard
  • National Guard




  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Youtube
  • Flickr