News: From the front lines to a support role, San Diego Marine experiences full spectrum of war efforts
Story by Sgt. Michele Watson
Cpl. Delfino Martinez, joint forces observer, Fire Support Team, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), stepped onto the yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego in May 2007.
“My grandfather served in World War II in the Navy, and I look up to him a lot,” said Martinez, 25, a San Diego native. “I wanted to serve my country, and during a time of war, I chose an infantry [military occupational specialty] because I wanted to fight.”
As a machine gunner in the infantry field, Martinez first deployed to Afghanistan with 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, in early 2008.
“Last time I was in Afghanistan I was in the field doing patrols every day with continuous enemy attacks, but now I’m with the logistics group — supporting the guys on the front lines,” said Martinez.
“We were some of the first Marines in Helmand Province. We had no artillery support and no [High Mobility Artillery Rocket System] support like we do now.”
In early 2010, Martinez deployed with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and visited the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
“It was a great experience working with other militaries and being able to visit the different countries along the way,” said Martinez.
After returning from the MEU, Martinez was transferred from 2nd Bn., 7th Marines at Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., to the 1st Marine Logistics Group at Camp Pendleton, Calif., as a machine gun instructor.
Working at the Combat Skills Trainer, Martinez shared his proficient machine gun skills during the multiple courses offered to various 1st MLG units. Prior to 1st MLG (Fwd)’s deployment rotation, he was selected to fill a position with the Fire Support Team and return to Afghanistan.
“Being attached to a logistics group, my role is a lot more supportive, helping supplies get to the infantry units operating throughout Helmand,” said Martinez.
The role of the Fire Support Team in Afghanistan is to provide a link between close-air support and combat logistics patrols on the ground. Martinez is the joint fires observer on the team and assists with surface-to-surface fires.
“This deployment has given me a much broader view of the Marine Corps as a whole, and it’s been a completely different experience since the last time I was here,” he said.
With only a couple months left on this tour, Martinez says he is excited to get back into his favorite hobbies and seeing his pets. He is also glad to be home in time for the National Football League season.
“I’m a really big Chargers fan and I can’t wait to watch them play this season,” said Martinez. “I miss my two bull dogs and brewing my own beer.”
For the remainder of the deployment, Martinez will continue supporting 1st MLG (Fwd) units during any missions his team is requested.
“I’m really proud of what I’ve accomplished,” said Martinez. “It feels good to know that I stepped up when the country needed me.”
This work, From the front lines to a support role, San Diego Marine experiences full spectrum of war efforts, by Sgt Michele Watson, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.