News: Des Moines Marine seeks experiences to share with future grandchildren
Story by Spc. Chelsea Russell
AFGHANISTAN - People know Marines like to live life on the edge and as a professed adrenaline junkie Cpl. Christopher Sharpe constantly strives for the next big thing.
He worked as a lifeguard before he joined the Marines. One day he got up off his lifeguard stand and decided he wanted to do something more challenging with his life. He walked into the recruiting office and signed up for a five-year commitment.
“I thought to myself, well, when I get old I want to be able to tell my grandkids and my kids that I did something crazy,” said Sharpe. “So, I decided to join the Marine Corps.”
The Marine Corps suits Sharpe’s passion for an active lifestyle. He enjoys surfing, mountain biking, snowboarding and getting out in nature. Playing video games could never satisfy his desire to live his life to the fullest.
Sharpe chose the Military Police field because it offered him a wide range of opportunity. He interacts with people on a daily basis as a patrol supervisor and desk sergeant with 1st Law Enforcement Battalion Provost Marshal’s Office Leatherneck.
There’s a tremendous amount of paperwork involved in working as a desk sergeant. Anytime people lose stuff they must file a report with PMO, said Sharpe.
He’s also gained a lot of knowledge about different cultures during his time as an MP.
“We work with Bahrain Special Security Forces, so it’s be interesting to be able to learn their culture styles and norms for them,” said Sharpe, his blue eyes intent behind a pair of black rimmed glasses. “It’s interesting to say the least – to learn how they act and react in situations.”
It’s been three and a half years since Sharpe joined the Marine Corps and he is currently on his second deployment.
During March 2010, he deployed with 3rd Battalion 7th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, for seven months. He helped train the Afghan National Police, which meant things were more kinetic since the enemy targeted them frequently. He spent his days searching for improvised explosive devices, going on long patrols and working with local Afghans.
Afghanistan has changed since his last deployment when he lived on a much smaller forward operating base. Now he lives in air-conditioned quarters, with Internet and only one roommate. He’s learned what it’s like to work on the PMO side of things during this deployment rather than solely doing hard physical labor, day in and day out.
“Before coming out here I had no PMO experience whatsoever,” explained Sharpe. “So, I really didn’t know what I was in for. After being out here for four months now, I’ve learned a lot about what PMO actually does.”
Despite some of the more mundane aspects of his job, he discovered there are many different aspects to being an MP.
“My favorite part is being able to help people,” said Sharpe. “It’s nice to see a problem and see people struggling and be able to walk them through it and get them through anything.
“Being able to see someone smiling at the end of a troubling situation is probably my favorite.”
He admitted he’s always on the move, looking for the next big obstacle to conquer. After returning home during January 2013, he only has seven months until he fulfills his commitment to the Corps. He then plans on traveling around the world in search of adventure and yet another challenge.