Face of Defense: Arizona Marine Eyes ‘Big Picture’
By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Katherine M. Solano
2nd Marine Logistics Group
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Nov. 15, 2011 Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Davison Slivers has spent two and a half years overseas serving his country in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Davison Slivers supervises Marines making road repairs in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, Nov. 6, 2011. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Katherine Solano
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Slivers said he uses the experience he’s gained in four overseas deployments over his nine years in the Marine Corps to guide the Marines under his leadership and watch.
“A lot of the Marines mature throughout the deployment,” Slivers said. “You have got to remind them of the ‘big picture’ when they get down about what they are doing here.”
Slivers, who calls Ganado, Ariz., home, is the Motor Transport Platoon’s staff noncommissioned officer in charge with the 7th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group here. He’s also the convoy commander during many operations.
Slivers said he keeps a close eye on his younger Marines, especially since some are straight out of high school and on their first deployment.
As engineers, Slivers said, he and his comrades construct observation posts and patrol bases. They also build and repair routes and support infantry units. The Marines, he added, strive to build good will with local Afghans.
Traveling for days at a time can get monotonous, Slivers acknowledged. But when his Marines get a little antsy, he said, he has a surefire way of boosting their spirits.
“I just remind them of why they are here and what their job is on a daily basis, and what being a Marine in general is all about,” Slivers said. “We are here to improve something for local nationals. We want to help them improve themselves.”
Slivers said his experience helps him to lead his Marines by example and to understand troops’ frustrations and the friction that can occur during overseas deployments.
Being able to relate to his Marines, Slivers said, gives him the chance to lift them when they are down and to keep them going when times get tough.
“The guys I’m out here with know what they are doing really matters,” Slivers concluded.