CAMP FOSTER, OKINAWA, Japan --
Throughout the Marine Corps, communication is critical to mission success, and for the radio maintenance Marines with Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, their mission is ongoing.
Radio maintenance Marines ensure MCIPAC first responders and base dispatches consistently have working communication equipment throughout Okinawa by repairing or programming radios, and managing radio data.
“We are the communication lifeline for the Marine Corps,” said Cpl. Madison Shoemaker, a native of Saint Cloud, Florida, and a transmission system operator with G-6, communications, H&S Bn. “If communications are compromised, we fix the problem. We do what is necessary to and assure all equipment is working properly.”
For Lance Cpl. Miguel Ceja, a native of Tustin, California, the central office maintainer with G-6, communications, H&S Bn, being that communication lifeline for Marines who come to him with damaged equipment motivates him to do his best every day. Ceja’s work ethic was instilled in him by his father, he said.
“My father would always tell me, ‘Make sure the work is done properly because there is no point in doing it if it’s not done right,’” said Ceja. “In a way, I feel like radio maintenance is my family because we work to the same standards that I was expected of growing up.”
Radio maintenance Marines work up to 11 hours a day, five days a week. On average, they fix over 300 pieces of communication equipment each week.
Shoemaker explained that before becoming a radio maintenance Marine, they must complete four months of training on Marine Corps Base Twentynine Palms, California, where they learn how to utilize radios to send and receive messages. The mission of radio maintenance Marines is to execute ground electronics maintenance, tactical communications, aircraft control, anti-air warfare operations, and maintenance in order to ensure that commanders have the ability to exercise command and control across the full range of operations.
“I am confident in the capabilities of our Marines,” said Shoemaker. “They always work hard, traveling to different parts of Okinawa and are ready to repair communications and serve the Marine Corps at anytime.”