News: Soldier holds key to movement on the battlefield
Story by Staff Sgt. Brent Powell
FORT MCCOY, Wis. – As the sun rises, it casts light on rows of military vehicles standing still, neatly aligned and ready to take Soldiers to their daily missions.
That Soldier is Spc. Stephen A. Martinez, a movement control specialist assigned to the 329th Movement Control Team, 330th Transportation Battalion, and all convoys leaving Forward Operating Base Freedom must first get his approval before traveling off post.
Martinez and his team are here to assist units conducting training during Warrior Exercise 86-14-02 (WAREX). The exercise is a large scale multi-component collective training event designed to prepare Reserve and National Guard units for deployment. It includes nearly 5,000 Soldiers and more than 60 units from 30 different states and Puerto Rico.
When a unit receives a mission requiring them to leave the base, they coordinate that request through Martinez and fill out the necessary forms and paperwork required. He coordinates specific needs with the convoy commanders, and when the convoy is ready to leave he coordinates that movement with the front gate.
“I am a customer service representative, who assists all units needing clearance to leave the FOB,” said Martinez, an active duty Soldier and native of Fayetteville, N.C. “I help them fill out trip tickets, convoy requests and stage the convoys prior to them leaving on their missions. We are a one stop shop for transportation.”
In the first week of WAREX, Martinez had assisted in getting Soldiers out to more than 288 missions, on schedule. He sent out 568 vehicles and more than 2,200 Soldiers.
“He has his job down pat,” said Master Sgt. Stephen Birscoll, a native of Evergreen Park, Ill., and an observer controller trainer, assigned to the 325th Training Support Battalion. “He goes out of his way to help anyone that comes in, and gets them the assistance they need.”
Although he works hard, it’s a job he seems to really enjoy. “I like the fact that as a specialist, I get to work mainly with officers and senior enlisted Soldiers,” he said. “I like being able to work with them one on one.”
The job comes with a variety of challenges, but Martinez seems ready for any of them. “One of the biggest challenges I have to deal with is last minute changes and things that are out of my control,” he said. “Those last minute changes make my job difficult, so I have to be really resourceful and know who I can talk to and coordinate things with, to ensure the missions get accomplished on time.”
Martinez has impressed his leaders with his positive attitude and hard work. “He is a shining star, and a very good Soldier,” said Sgt. Peter Mayoliz, transportation sergeant and native of Rochester, N.Y., assigned to the 329th MCT, 330th Trans. Bn. “He rises above the expectations and takes the initiative. He is the type of Soldier you don’t have to show him what to do, you just give him the tools and he will take care of the rest.”
As WAREX continues to task units with a variety of missions, Soldiers on FOB Freedom, who need to get out to their training areas can rest assured, they will be able to do so on time as long as Martinez is on the job.