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    Passing the knowledge: 21 years of experience comes with great responsibility

    Passing the knowledge: 21 years of experience comes with great responsibility

    Photo By Sgt. Desiree D King | Master Sgt. Lisandro Hernandez of Aurora, Illinois, communications chief with the 15th...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story

    15th Marine Expeditionary Unit

    In 1995, just 30 minutes outside of Chicago, in the small town of Aurora, Lisandro Hernandez had only one perception of the U.S. military - the U.S. National Guard.

    “I always saw myself serving,” said Master Sgt. Lisandro Hernandez. “Back in my hometown there was a big National Guard unit; so for me that was the military.”

    At the time, the U.S. was involved with Operation Desert Storm and media coverage highlighted combat operations. This is how Hernandez was exposed to the Marine Corps and saw this as a secondary option following high school.

    “Back in Chicago, there was only factory work,” said Hernandez. “You knew once you graduated high school, you were going to go work in one of them and that’s when I decided to join the Marine Corps.”

    With a foundation built on hard work, the Marine Corps just seemed like another job for Hernandez. The mentality that “hard work pays off” is what carried him through the past 21 years of his military career.

    “I [first] looked at it as a job,” said Hernandez. “It obviously grew into serving the country,” he explained as he reminisced about his reasoning for continuing to serve.

    Throughout his career, Hernandez has traveled the world, and served in various units to include the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which he is currently serving at as the communications chief. The 15th MEU serves as the nation’s rapid response and crisis contingency force, projecting military power from ship-to-shore in support of partners and allies.

    “I think every unit is different,” said Hernandez. “I think the culture here is that every exercise is an opportunity to get better and to train people to identify technical skills that need to be refined. Once the unit goes on their mission, there’s no more training, you’ve got to be ready.”

    This concept is not new to Hernandez, who said the first deployment that he went on in 2003 instilled an appreciation for the at-times tedious work that goes into properly training before a combat environment.

    “The first [deployment] in 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom, that was the one that had the most impact...being in charge of people, having a platoon.” said Hernandez. “Everything up until that point had been hearing ‘do this or that, because when we go to combat…’ It could be anything down to not leaving trash.”

    Hernandez explained that he now understood the purpose behind the little things that were required of him, for example, leaving trash meant the adversary could find you or learn more about you.
    “It was attention to detail, why we do what we do,” he added.

    Hernandez was able to bring those lessons back from his first deployment and has passed them on to Marines through mentorship and training ever since. Although he’s not sure exactly what the future will bring for him and his family, Hernandez has made it his mission to share the knowledge he’s acquired with those who will someday take his place.

    “I’ve been in for 21 years, I’m already a master sergeant. I think it is my responsibility, and that of everyone who has been in for a while, to train your replacement, pass the knowledge...that’s what I’ll be able to do for the next two or three years, influence all those Marines and point them in the right direction.”



    Date Taken: 06.08.2018
    Date Posted: 06.11.2018 16:07
    Story ID: 280264
    Location: CAMP PENDLETON , CA, US 

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