Marine Corps Air Station Yuma


Hometown: Yuma, AZ, US

Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Content Online
(MCASY)
161

8

396

1,927

32


DVIDS Media Specialist:
Media Managers
mediamanager@dvidshub.net


  (9 Subscribers)


Featured Video



Featured Photo


Retirement Ceremony Held at MCAS Yuma for Lt. Col. Manuel Merino


Former Drill Instructor & Recruit – Twenty Years in the Making


Story by Cpl. Travis Gershaneck

Master Gunnery Sgt. Draffen Promotion MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. – Newly-promoted Master Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Draffen stood at the position of attention in front of the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One building, aboard MCAS Yuma, Arizona, Wednesday, April 1, 2015. The collar of the MAWTS-1 air traffic control chief’s uniform lay bare for but a moment before two pairs of hands deftly pinned in place the rank he has worked over 20 years to achieve.

Attention to Orders!

Behind him, a formation comprised of friends and peers mirrored his tall stance. To his left, his wife, who he has been with since before his enlistment in 1994, secured one side of his collar. On his right, the drill instructor responsible for making Draffen into a Marine at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, retired Master Gunnery Sgt. Michael Arnett, secured the other.

After the ceremony was over, and the formation dispersed, Draffen and Arnett had a chance to reminisce about their shared beginnings.

“He was the shortest drill instructor, and he was very skinny,” said Draffen about Arnett, recalling the ritual first contact between drill instructor and recruit known as “Black Friday.”

“Well ...” Arnett interjected with a chuckle. “The only one skinnier than me was him!”

“He was clearly very passionate about what he was doing,” continued Draffen, a native of Northville, New York. “That’s the reason why, after 20 years, it was very easy to ask him to pin me.”

Boot Camp

“My main job was ‘knowledge hat,’” said Arnett. “My main focus was getting recruits through the academic portion of boot camp.”

“And I was the ‘knowledge recruit,’” said Draffen.

The “knowledge recruit” is picked by the platoon drill instructors and is usually one of the brighter recruits of each training cycle.

“Our platoon took number one for academics, and I didn’t do it by myself,” said Arnett. “Draffen was there on the back end, as a recruit, encouraging the guys to be the best.”

“I remember he was just hustling,” Arnett recalled. “I remember he was always trying to do his best and flying to get the job done the best he could. Obviously, that’s continued with him making master gunnery sergeant. With him now being in the top two percent of the Marine Corps, his hard work has benefited him well.”

What Comes First

“I remember talking to him during boot camp and found out that he’d just gotten married and had a kid on the way,” said Arnett, a native of Panama City, Florida. “I remember thinking to myself as a sergeant with two kids at the time, ‘Golly, he’s got a family and he’s just starting out.’”

“I was in boot camp to support my family,” said Draffen. “We ran into some financial problems, so there I was.”

Only six months away from his 21-year mark in the Marine Corps, Draffen still holds true to the lessons instilled in him by the man who taught him the fundamentals of what it means to be a Marine.

“I’d say the one lesson that he really drove home, and is something we push on our kids, is to take care of your family,” said Draffen. “He reinforced that you perform to take care of your family first, and everything else comes secondary to that.”

Recent Video

Corporal's Course 4-15: Trigger Time Corporal's Course 4-15: Trigger Time
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma's Corporal's Course underwent combat training for military operations in urban terrain, Thursday, May 7, 2015. The students and...
VMFA-121 Conducts F-35B FCLP Training At MCAS Yuma VMFA-121 Conducts F-35B FCLP Training At MCAS Yuma
F-35B pilots, Maj. Aric Liberman (05 jet) and Capt. Brian Hansell (01 jet), with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 based out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.,...
WTI Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Exercise WTI Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Exercise
Marine ground and air units participated in the WTI 2-15 foreign humanitarian assistance exercise April 17, 2015, at Kiwanis Park in Yuma, Arizona. The exercise,...
2015 Yuma Airshow 2015 Yuma Airshow
The 2015 Yuma Airshow took place February 27th through 28th at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona. The show highlighted performances by civilian and military...
2015 Yuma Air Show Performers 2015 Yuma Air Show Performers
The 2015 Yuma Air Show is slated to be held on the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Arizona, flight line February 27-28. Performers include the Misty Blues all-female...
U.S., Asian Military Medics Collaborate on Crises at Cobra Gold 2015 U.S., Asian Military Medics Collaborate on Crises at...
Approximately 125 military and civilian medical professionals from eight different nations attended an Exercise Cobra Gold 2015 sponsored medical symposium at the Lop...


Recent Audio

Maj. Lieberman
Maj. Lieberman talks to reporters from Airplane Geeks about his background as an aviator in the Marine Corps, becoming an instructor and leading the F-35B training...
Lt Col. Jeffrey Scott
Lt. Col. Jeffrey Scott talks to an Australian Aviator reporter about the F-35, the establishment of the first USMC F-35B squadron in the world, how Australia has been...
Bill Toledo Interview part 1
Navajo Code Talker Bill Toledo is interviewed by Capt. Breanne Cave about his life and how he joined the Marine Corps, what he did while in, and what the Navajo Code...
Bill Toledo Interview part 2
Navajo Code Talker Bill Toledo is interviewed by Capt. Breanne Cave about his life and how he joined the Marine Corps, what he did while in, and what the Navajo Code...
Bill Toledo interview part 3
Navajo Code Talker Bill Toledo is interviewed by Capt. Breanne Cave about his life and how he joined the Marine Corps, what he did while in, and what the Navajo Code...
Bill Toledo interview part 4
Navajo Code Talker Bill Toledo is interviewed by Capt. Breanne Cave about his life and how he joined the Marine Corps, what he did while in, and what the Navajo Code...


Recent News Stories

Former Drill Instructor & Recruit – Twenty Years in the Making Former Drill Instructor & Recruit – Twenty Years in...
Newly-promoted Master Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Draffen stood at the position of attention in front of the Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron One building, aboard...
MCAS Yuma Marines In It To Win It: CIAP Western Divisional MCAS Yuma Marines In It To Win It: CIAP Western Divisional
Out of roughly 240 Marine and civilian participants, only a handful of top shooters crossed the base theater stage during the 2015 Competition-In-Arms Program (CIAP)...
MCAS Yuma Airshow Takes Community, Supporters by Storm MCAS Yuma Airshow Takes Community, Supporters by Storm
The only military airshow in Arizona for this year started with the evening Twilight Show at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., Feb. 27, 2015. Open to the public,...
CJCMOTF Deputy Commander Talks CG15 HCA Mission, Future in Exercise CJCMOTF Deputy Commander Talks CG15 HCA Mission, Future...
“I just want to emphasize how proud we are of all the engineers here,” U.S. Army Maj. Alejandro Buniag’s voice echoes over the loud speaker, “and take this...
Molding the Future on All Fronts: Teacher-Soldier Jeremiah F. Diaz Molding the Future on All Fronts: Teacher-Soldier...
Mentoring is U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah F. Diaz’s craft.
The Ebola virus, Dengue fever, Malaria: U.S., Asian Military Medics collaborate on crises at Cobra Gold 2015 The Ebola virus, Dengue fever, Malaria: U.S., Asian...
Approximately 125 military and civilian medical professionals from eight different nations attended an Exercise Cobra Gold 2015 sponsored medical symposium at the Lop...


Recent Photos

Retirement Ceremony Held at MCAS Yuma for Lt. Col. Manuel Merino Retirement Ceremony Held at MCAS Yuma for Lt. Col....
Lt. Col. Manuel Merino, the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma executive officer, retires after 28 years of faithful service to the United States Marine Corps during a...
Lt. Col. Lindstrom Retires After 22 Years of Faithful Service Lt. Col. Lindstrom Retires After 22 Years of Faithful...
Lt. Col. Glen Lindstrom, the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma executive officer, retires after 22 years of faithful service to the United States Marine Corps during a...
City of Yuma honors fallen 3rd MAW Marines City of Yuma honors fallen 3rd MAW Marines
New street signs sit on display during a street naming ceremony for Sgt. Bradley Atwell and Lt. Col. Christopher Raible at the Yuma Civic Center, Arizona, May 15....
101 Days of Summer Health and Safety Event 101 Days of Summer Health and Safety Event
Marines and sailors from Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., observe a grappling match as part of the “101 Days of...
101 Days of Summer Health and Safety Event 101 Days of Summer Health and Safety Event
Cp. Grace Rhoads, a Marine with the Provost Marshal's Office aboard Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., climbs the rock tower during the "101 Days of Summer" Health...
A Tribute to Military Spouses and Volunteers at MCAS Yuma A Tribute to Military Spouses and Volunteers at MCAS Yuma
An evening colors ceremony is held at the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., parade deck in observance of Military Spouse Appreciation Day and to honor volunteers...