News: Creating orders for his future
Story by Lance Cpl. Joshua Brown
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. – The Marine Corps accomplishes its goals thanks to personnel trained in a variety of skill sets, combat oriented and non-combat oriented. Administrative specialists provide the necessary support that assists Marines by taking accountability, handling orders, managing awards and personal military information.
Administrative specialists take on a number of responsibilities that allow Marines to place their focus on their own occupation and roles, making for more mission minded and skilled professionals and leading to mission success.
Cpl. Roberto Salcedo, an administrative specialist with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) and Los Angeles native, is one of the few with these responsibilities.
“I joined the Marine Corps for adventure,” said Salcedo.
Salcedo said he attended Rio Hondo Community College in Whittier, Calif. He wasn’t fond of the academic lifestyle and decided to pursue something outside of his California comfort zone.
“I wanted to get away from California and see the world,” said Salcedo.
Salcedo enlisted as an administrative specialist Dec. 12, 2010.
He has seen his fair share of the world since then, having deployed with the 26th MEU for eight months to the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility.
“Deployment was interesting,” said Salcedo. “Rather than taking accountability for roughly 100 Marines in the MEU command element, I was taking accountability for nearly 2,400.”
The MEU grows from about 100 to 2400 Marines before deployment as it becomes composite with a ground combat element, a logistics combat element and an aviation combat element.
“Deployment was the most wonderful and difficult experience I’ve ever had,” said Salcedo. “I really enjoyed the camaraderie on ship.”
Salcedo said his past friendships are important, but the ones he made on ship while working, living and constantly being around his fellow Marines really meant a lot.
During the deployment, Salcedo’s leadership and accomplishments warranted him gains in the form of promotion to corporal.
Sgt. Calvin Eberhardt, an administrative specialist with the 26th MEU, Americus, Ga., native and non-commissioned officer (NCO) in charge of Salcedo, said “He grew a lot on deployment. When he came here he was soft-spoken and shy, but now he’s learned his job, he’s more motivated and he does well without being told.”
Eberhardt has been the NCO in charge of Salcedo since Salcedo arrived at the MEU. He has been directly responsible for Salcedo and seen him develop his skills throughout the duration of his time with the MEU.
“He’s knows himself, he always seeks self-improvement,” said Eberhardt. “He demonstrates great bearing and knowledge and is an outstanding Marine.
Eberhardt said he foresees Salcedo being successful in his future endeavors, and would like to see Salcedo continue to develop his skills as a leader and continue to be a well-rounded Marine.
Salcedo said “I want to be a career Marine and plan to stay in at least 20 years. I plan on pursuing school in the future so I can work in law enforcement when I get out.”
He intends to get a degree in criminal justice, desiring to be a
parole officer or corrections officer after retiring from the Marine Corps.
“The Marine Corps has provided me the tools to be successful,” said Salcedo. “I plan to use them and apply them in my life beyond the Corps.”
Salcedo said the Marine Corps has improved his discipline, dedication, pride and self-confidence, learning how to stick to a task and accomplish it.
“I love being a Marine, I’ve learned a lot and I’ve seen the world like I wanted,” said Salcedo.
After being stationed on the East Coast throughout his time in the Corps, Salcedo would like to get stationed in California and be close to home now that he’s seen a good portion of the world and what it has to offer.
“I see myself as a Staff Sergeant stationed in California ten years down the road,” said Salcedo. “I’ve enjoyed my time on the east coast, I want to continue my time in the Marine Corps, but I think I’m ready to be closer to home.”
Sgt. Eberhardt said Salcedo has the potential to be an outstanding leader because he is such an outstanding Marine. He has high hopes for Salcedo and wants him to continue to strive to be the best and do the right thing.
“I chose admin so I would have skills transferrable to the civilian world,” said Salcedo. “I intend on using them in the civilian world eventually, but right now I plan on staying in the Marine Corps and seeing where my career takes me.”