MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CA, UNITED STATES
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. This was exactly the case for the Marines of Ammunition Company, 1st Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group.
As the Marines with 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, moved into their new barracks and abandoned their old buildings, Marines with Ammunition Company, swept in to fix up the abandon buildings and turn them into their new home.
“Working so far from our parent command, we’ve always been tenants at 43 Area,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher McNally, company gunnery sergeant, Ammunition Company, 1st Supply Bn., CLR-1, 1st MLG. “This is the first time we take ownership of our own building and the Marines have made great progress so far.”
The idea of moving in to this barracks and fixing it up wasn’t always welcomed by the Marines of the company, explained McNally, 37, from Albany, N.Y. They were initially against it seeing how [old] most of the rooms were. However, after the working party fixed up part of the building and invited Marines back for a second view, most Marines were impressed and excited to start moving in.
“When the Marines saw how the rooms could possibly turn out, they kept coming up to me and ask me when they could start moving in,” said Cpl. Ryan Avery, project non-commissioned officer in charge, Ammunition Company, 1st Supply Bn., CLR-1, 1st MLG.
Avery, 23, from Buffalo, N.Y., said the Marines with the working party were working hard to finish the project to shoot for the target move-in date of April 2.
“I’m so impressed with how well the Marines have done,” Avery said. “They’re getting things done fast without rushing and making mistakes. The biggest reason, I think, is because they’re enjoying this rather than just dealing with ammo all day. It’s a change of pace for them.”
At first, they didn’t know what to do when they received the task, Avery said. But once they got in the groove of things, Marines were knocking rooms out left and right, completing multiple tasks at once.
“It’s definitely a good move for us,” said Pfc. Tyler Rownd, ammunition technician and a member of the Ammunition Company working party. “Even though we didn’t have a clear picture at first, we’re finally getting the hang of things. Now, it’s like second nature to us when it comes to what we needed to do.”
Rownd, 19, from Oakland, Calif., admitted he was one of the Marines who didn’t see any point of moving into this barracks. But after working on the project and seeing what it could become, he said he was more than happy to move in soon.
“I didn’t understand the intent of our command when they said we were moving into this abandoned building,” said Rownd. “But after we repainted the walls and cleared all the trash, each room is actually a lot bigger than the one we’re in right now. Also, in a way, we’re building our own home, making it look the way we want it to look and we’re doing it by ourselves. It’s an honor knowing I helped created a home to all the ammo techs in our company. I can say that I helped turn this [old barracks] into something we can proudly call a home.”
As the barracks grew closer to its finishing date, Avery said that it’s not the end of the project.
“It’s always going to be a work in progress,” he said. “We’ll never stop improving it, or finding more ways to improve the barracks. It’s our home now and our goal is to get it as immaculate as we can get it. We’ll turn this old barracks into something as current and new as the ones building now.”
The Marines planned to have a unit function prior to the move-in date to celebrate the completion of the barracks.
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This work, Ammunition Marines create place to call home, by Cpl Khoa Pelczar, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.