News: Optics technician stands out
Story by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – Marines prove themselves on a daily basis. Every so often, a Marine dedicates himself with such a passion that he stands out among his peers.
Lance Cpl. Michael M. Estes, an optics technician with Ordnance Maintenance Company, 1st Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, was honored as the 1st MLG Marine of the Quarter, here, Feb. 22.
“The only thing I felt I did was take on and accomplish more challenges,” said Estes, 19, from Torrance, Calif. “I think the reason I stood out is because I was the first junior Marine into work and one of the last ones to leave every day. I just try to do my best.”
According to his superiors, Estes stands out because he constantly proves himself to be a dedicated Marine.
“His initiative, his bearing, and his work ethic make him stand out,” said Sgt. Robert F. Benbow, an optics floor chief with Ordnance Maintenance Co., 1st MLG. “He didn’t have to be told what to do, he just did it. You talk about the whole Marine concept, and that’s pretty much him.”
Estes graduated high school early so he could join the Marine Corps.
“School wasn’t for me at the time,” said Estes. “Living with your parents is not what you want to be doing (after high school).”
Estes chose the Marine Corps over the other branches of service for one, simple reason.
“If you are going to do something, you might as well do it right,” he said.
As an optics technician, it is Estes’ responsibility to repair broken sights, binoculars, laser designators, and other tools associated with weapons accuracy. His field includes rifle combat optics and the PEQ series laser attachments.
“Our optics are used for almost everything. From PEQ-15s to basic RCOs that everyone uses on a day-to-day basis. (In combat), people are using our night sights,” said Estes. “The gear we work on is everywhere.”
Estes knows his work is important. When troops use optics for targeting, the support he provides gives them an advantage over the enemy.
“It’s a big deal. You need to make sure there are no errors,” said Estes. “If you make errors and it gets approved to go out, you are risking your fellow Marine’s life. It’s your work. You need to take pride in it.”
Estes was honored to receive the award. To him, the recognition means that now is the time to prove he has earned it.
“(This award) is great to receive, but it doesn’t change what you do or how your work ethic should be,” said Estes. “It should make you work harder.”