News: Connecticut Marine assumes greater responsibility
Story by Cpl. Anthony Ward Jr
COMBAT OUTPOST SHUKVANI, Afghanistan - Marines are instilled from day one to learn to adapt and overcome, and in a deployed environment they must take this to heart.
Lance Corporal Nicholas C. Jansen is one such Marine who has adapted to the demands of the battalion and wears the many hats needed to get the job done.
Hailing from a small town, Hartland, Conn., Jansen found his way to the Marine Corps later than most Marines.
“I was 22 at the time working a job, and I really wanted to do something different with my life,” said Jansen, a generator mechanic by trade. “I always wanted to join the military, so I looked into it, and here I am.”
With a military influence in his family, he had always leaned toward enlisting. Jansen finally made his decision and walked into a recruiter’s office and joined the Marine Corps during April 2011.
“My father was in the Navy, and my grandfather was in the Air Force,” said Jansen. “I chose the Marine Corps because I wanted to be the best. I wanted to go all out.”
Currently attached to the Georgian Liaison Team for Regimental Combat Team 7, Regional Command Southwest, Jansen has been going “all out” for them.
The normal duties of a lance corporal who is a generator mechanic would consist of primarily fixing a generator when it breaks and providing preventative maintenance.
Traditionally, he would have an entire shop of Marines who work alongside him and some senior Marines to help him when things get rough. Jansen doesn’t have the traditional shop at Combat Outpost Shukvani. He is the lone man who takes care of many problems by himself, assuming responsibility and duties far beyond his pay grade.
“I’m the utilities chief, so if any gear out here breaks, I either have to fix it or find a replacement,” said Jansen, 25. “I work with a staff sergeant on the (consolidated memorandum receipts), I work with diesel motors, heaters and air conditioners.
“I joined the Marine Corps for experience,” added Jansen. “I’m definitely getting that out here.”
Jansen has expanded his reach beyond just fixing generators, to actually keeping air conditioning units up and running, dealing with electrical issues and answering midnight wake-up calls, and his efforts have not gone unseen by his superiors.
“He took the mission on himself,” said 2nd Lt. Robert E. Dzvonick, supply officer for the GLT. “One guy, a whole battalion. He’s even working through a language barrier, what more can you say. He’s the unit’s sole generator mechanic and he repairs everything from air conditioners to refrigerators. He even covers down on the (Ground Based Operational Surveillance System).”
Jansen goes above and beyond in his duties, taking on the role of numerous Marines and fulfilling the needs of an entire battalion.