News: Marine in Afghanistan promoted, awarded for six-course meal at patrol base
Story by Cpl. Cody Haas
CAMP LEATHERNECK – Infantry Marines with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, stationed at Patrol Base Boldak in Helmand province, Afghanistan, have few luxuries while patrolling an area roughly half the size of Rhode Island. However, one such luxury they do have is a warm, satisfying meal three times a day, thanks to Sgt. Marcus Myers.
Since September 2013, Myers, a food service specialist with Headquarters Company, 1st Bn., 9th Marines, Regional Command (Southwest), has single-handedly prepared nourishing entrées and handmade side dishes for Marines and sailors aboard PB Boldak.
He prides himself on giving the Marines and sailors what they need to get back in the fight while keeping morale in the unit high, said Myers, a 26-year-old native of West Palm Beach, Fla.
“I always tell my Marines never to settle for mediocrity and to push themselves toward a higher work ethic each day by serving a homemade-style meal,” said Staff Sgt. Aviel Smith, food service specialist chief, Headquarters Co., 1st Bn., 9th Marines, stationed at Camp Leatherneck.
Myers is responsible for ordering, stocking, cooking and serving meals for all of Charlie Co. His attention to detail and careful preparation ensure the Marines and sailors are continuously supplied with fresh, healthy sustenance.
Myers takes great pride and puts a significant amount of effort into making wholesome meals. At no time was this more evident than on Christmas Day, when he prepared a six-course meal, one of the best the company had ever enjoyed, without any running water and just a simple grill.
While many benefited from Myers’ cooking, one person in particular took notice. During a holiday visit made by Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, he observed the hard work of one corporal serving food for his entire company of Marines and sailors.
Amos was so impressed by Myers’ work ethic; he wrote him a personal letter thanking him for his hard work.
“We were highly impressed by your ability to produce so many outstanding meals for your fellow Marines while simultaneously handling supplies. You did an amazing job of taking care of your fellow warriors, and we couldn’t be prouder of your performance and fidelity,” wrote Gen. Amos in a letter to Myers.
Because of Myers’ hard work on Christmas Day and throughout the battalion’s current deployment, he was meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant and awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for superior performance of his duties while serving as the only field mess noncommissioned officer at PB Boldak.
“I was just doing my job,” said Myers. “I didn’t think anyone would see any differently, much less notice. I will always strive to be better because that’s what [the Marines and sailors] deserve. I take pride in myself, and it shows in my work.”