Face of Defense: Lance Corporal Provides Leadership
By Marine Corps Cpl. Adam Leyendecker
2nd Marine Expeditionary Force
PATROL BASE WOLFPACK, Afghanistan, Apr. 28, 2011 “Fire and forget” in military jargon refers to a weapon that doesn’t require further guidance to reach the intended target after launch.
U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Zach R. Mullin patrols in southern Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 15, 2011. Mullin is a team leader assigned to the 1st Platoon, E Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Adam Leyendecker
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Marine Corps Capt. Christopher L. Buck, commanding officer for E Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and a native of Perry, Mich., refers to one of his Marines as a “fire-and-forget weapon.”
Buck described Lance Cpl. Zach R. Mullin, a team leader in 1st Platoon, E Company, and native of Clio, Mich., as a Marine who understands the commander’s intent.
“You tell him what to do, and he’s gone,” Buck said. “He’s one of those guys you hope stay in.”
Even at this early stage in his Marine Corps career, Mullin has earned the trust of the Marines around him.
Mullin’s maturity and leadership “are well above his present rank,” Buck said. “He is one of the best team leaders in the company.”
Mullin, who attended Clio Area High School, helped to develop pattern analysis for E Company’s area of operations during the unit’s deployment. He also was effective in gathering intelligence because of his ability to successfully communicate with Afghans, sometimes without the help of an interpreter.
“He made the local Afghan communities feel comfortable with the Marines, which resulted in him gathering important intelligence,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Daniel R. Cushman, platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, E Company, and native of Madison, Wis.
Mullin gives credit for his success to the hardworking Marines who surround him.
In their first firefight, the toughness of his team was exemplified when fellow point man, Marine Corps Lance. Cpl. Steven Martinez, a native of Santa Barbara, Calif., took cover and immediately returned fire.
Mullin also cited a time when Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas W. Sainz, an assistant team leader in 1st Platoon and a native of La Habra, Calif., showed the platoon’s constant vigilance when he spotted an observer before the insurgents were able to execute an attack.
Mullin said after E Company’s mission is complete in Afghanistan he will go home to his wife, Madison.
“The hardest part about being deployed is being away from her,” he said. “If I could find a way to bring her in my main pack, I could do this for years.”