I traveled up to Grissom for the Marine Reserves’ drill weekend in March and saw these dedicated young men and women hard at work preparing for a large exercise coming up this summer. The Reserves unit at Grissom is a support unit, providing tactical communications support. They set up radio networks, construct antennas, and assemble all of the hardware necessary for a secure communications network.
What’s most amazing about the Reserves is that they only meet one weekend a month. In that one weekend, they have to do their physical fitness tests, fill out any paperwork, take classes and do all of their hands-on training drills. They have very little time to learn and practice new skills before they’re put to the test at their large exercise.
To make things even harder, supplies are often limited. The Marines performing maintenance on the humvees didn’t have oil to put in the trucks, so some of them were completely out of commission until they get oil. I followed the commander, Major Mathes, around the building in pursuit of helmets for a group of Marines to properly and safely do their drill. Eventually, we scrounged up enough.
I really enjoyed spending the day with the Marine Reserves and Major Mathes. It’s a great group of men and women who like to chat and joke around but can really get down to serious business.