MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -- “He’s definitely one of the finest Marines I’ve ever worked with. He’s selfless and holds his Marines to the highest standard,” said Sgt. James Davis, a crew chief with Amphibious Assault Platoon, Combat Service Support Company, The Basic School.
At a glance, Sgt. Joshua Pierce, a crew chief with AAP, CSS Company, looks every bit what he is; a Marine. With his square chiseled shaved chin, medium high haircut and his defined command presence draws Marines toward him.
It’s not his looks, however, that are remarkable, but how he has impacted his Marines, which separates him from his peers.
Being a part of the most active AAV platoon in the Corps has helped shaped Pierce into the strong confident leader.
Peirce uses that leadership, working tirelessly, to train his Marines to be as successful as he has.
“Well, I had gone through five jobs in six months before I enlisted,” Pierce, an Ohio native said. “I was going home to borrow money from my folks again when a recruiter called. He offered me a paycheck for four years and a place to live. It seemed like a good idea at the time, so I took it.”
After completing boot camp at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot Parris Island and Marine Combat Training at Camp Johnson, N.C., Peirce reported in to 3rd Amphibious Assault Battalion in Camp Pendleton, Calif.
“I loved the people there,” Pierce said as he took a moment to catch his breath after driving his Amphibious Assault Vehicle. “One person in particular stood out to me though.”
That person was Gunnery Sgt. Jamie Kohler.
“He was all about his Marines,” Pierce said. “He was very approachable and everything he said made sense to me. He’s really been the standard that I hold myself and my Marines to.”
Everywhere Pierce has been he has left his impression of strong leadership in the Marines he has worked with.
“He can be a real hardass at times, but that’s because he has so much passion for what he does,” said Cpl. Andrew Downs, an AAV operator, AAP, CSS Company .
Although Pierce loves what he does, after seven and a half years of being a ‘tracker’ he will not be re-enlisting.
“I’m going to miss this. The down time and just swapping stories with my Marines,” Pierce said as he reflected on all the positives experiences he’s had. “But it’s time for me to move on and take the strong leadership skills I’ve learned here and apply them to the outside world.”
Pierce plans on starting an electronics engineering career.
“After having deployed with Pierce, I can honestly say he will be missed in our field.” Davis said. “There’s not too many Marines like him.”
“I owe it all to my brothers,” Pierce said. “These guys are the best. YATYAS.”