Face of Defense: Hard Work Earns Recognition for Marine Cook
By Marine Corps Cpl. Cody Haas
Regional Command Southwest
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Feb. 11, 2014 Infantry Marines stationed at Patrol Base Boldak with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, have few luxuries while patrolling an area in Afghanistan’s Helmand province that’s roughly half the size of Rhode Island.
Marine Corps Sgt. Marcus Myers has his new rank pinned by Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Aviel Smith at Patrol Base Boldak in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Feb. 2, 2014. Myers was meritoriously promoted to sergeant and received a Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal after Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, personally recognized his work. U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Cody Haas
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
But one luxury they do have is a warm, satisfying meal three times a day, thanks to Marine Corps Sgt. Marcus Myers.
Since September, Myers -- a food service specialist with Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, Regional Command Southwest -- has single-handedly prepared nourishing entrees and handmade side dishes for Marines and sailors at the patrol base.
The 26-year-old native of West Palm Beach, Fla., said he prides himself on giving the Marines and sailors what they need to get back in the fight while keeping morale in the unit high.
“I always tell my Marines never to settle for mediocrity and to push themselves toward a higher work ethic each day by serving a homemade-style meal,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Aviel Smith, food service specialist chief for Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, stationed here.
Myers is responsible for ordering, stocking, cooking and serving meals for all of Charlie Company. His attention to detail and careful preparation ensure the Marines and sailors are continuously supplied with fresh, healthy sustenance.
Myers clearly takes great pride and puts a significant amount of effort into making wholesome meals. At no time was this more evident than on Christmas Day, when he prepared a six-course meal, one of the best the company had ever enjoyed -- without any running water and with just a simple grill.
While many benefited from Myers’ cooking, one person in particular took notice. During a holiday visit, Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, saw the hard work of one corporal serving food for his entire company of Marines and sailors.
Amos was so impressed by Myers’ work ethic that he wrote him a personal letter thanking him for his hard work.
“We were highly impressed by your ability to produce so many outstanding meals for your fellow Marines while simultaneously handling supplies,” Amos wrote. “You did an amazing job of taking care of your fellow warriors, and we couldn’t be prouder of your performance and fidelity.”
Because of Myers’ hard work on Christmas Day and throughout the battalion’s current deployment, he was meritoriously promoted to sergeant and received the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal for superior performance of his duties while serving as the only field mess noncommissioned officer at Patrol Base Boldak.
“I was just doing my job,” Myers said. “I didn’t think anyone would see any differently, much less notice. I will always strive to be better, because that’s what [the Marines and sailors] deserve. I take pride in myself, and it shows in my work.”