News: Disobey today, pay tomorrow
Story by Lance Cpl. Antwaun Jefferson
MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. – Back in early 2005, to free up more Marines for the operational forces, civilians assumed road master duties, enforcing traffic regulations and base orders related to operating government vehicles aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.
Road masters ensure the safety and correct operation of all government vehicles aboard Quantico and within the National Capital Region. They also assist in accidents involving government operated-vehicles, inspect the 50 sub-motor pools at Quantico.
“We minimize the abuse and misuse of government vehicles,” said Matthew Dennison, chief road master. “Everybody has to follow the rules and regulations; it’s not just the way of life, it’s a Marine Corps order.”
The four road masters are in constant contact with the Provost Marshal’s Office, working together to catch violators. Even though the road masters cannot ticket personally owned vehicles, they will call the violation in to the military police.
“In the past, service members would use government vehicles to go into town, to lunch or to their house,” Dennison said. “This is a misuse of the vehicle and we stopped almost all of that by consistently enforcing the rules stated in the base orders and state laws.”
Escort missions are included in the long list of duties road masters perform. They escort government vehicles, usually tactical, on and off base and from main side to the west side of base.
“Before we provide escort services for a unit, we make sure to verify the routes, times, procedures, safety precautions, traffic control and the drop off point with the unit in a brief,” said Carrie Booth, road master. “Large units with anything over two vehicles will need escort support.”
Road masters also provide escort assistance to the base’s school buses. If school bus’ hazard lights or emergency lights suddenly down, the road master would support them in different ways.
Road Masters escort the bus through its entire route, also providing traffic control by getting out with their safety vest to assist the children in crossing the road safely.
When events such as marathons, Modern Day Marine and demonstrations on the firing range have roads blocked off, the road masters will provide the escort service that handles the transporting of the civilians and military members to and from events those events. Road masters also escort the wrecker vehicles on and off base as they pick-up disabled government vehicles.
For the last seven years, the civilian road masters have consistently helped the flow of base operations by providing escort assistance, while enforcing traffic regulations and base orders related to operating government vehicles. The road masters are planning to keep that same work ethic for the next seven years because according to Dennison, they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.