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Marine Corps Sergeant Deploys Again to Australia

Marine Corps Sgt. Brett Stauffenberg landed in Queensland, Australia two years ago.

Marines land on a beach.
On the Move
Marine Corps Sgt. Brett Stauffenberg and other U.S. Marines land at Midge Point, Australia, July 26, 2023.
Photo By: David Vergun, DOD
VIRIN: 230726-D-UB488-101

This week, he landed again in the same location and with the same unit, Battalion Landing Team 2/1, 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, based out of Camp Pendleton, California. He's now one of the thousands of troops participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre 23.

This year marks the 10th iteration of Talisman Sabre, a biennial exercise designed to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific by strengthening partnerships and interoperability among key allies. The spelling of the name — sabre vs. saber — reflects which country is leading the exercise: Talisman Sabre when Australia leads and Talisman Saber when the U.S. leads.

Thirteen nations from Japan to Germany are participating in this year's full exercise. 

To prepare for the landing, his unit loaded themselves and their gear onto a landing craft, air cushion that launched from the well deck of the amphibious transport dock ship USS New Orleans.

A Marine poses for a photo.
Brett Stauffenberg
Marine Corps Sgt. Brett Stauffenberg is participating in Exercise Talisman Sabre at Midge Point, Australia, July 26, 2023. Talisman Sabre is the largest military exercise between Australia and the United States. It aims to advance a free and open Indo-Pacific by strengthening relationships and interoperability among key allies and enhancing allies’ collective capabilities to respond to a wide array of potential security concerns.
Photo By: David Vergun, DOD
VIRIN: 230726-D-UB488-100

Stauffenberg, 24, a squad leader from Yorkville, Illinois, loves the life of an infantryman, despite living in austere environments away from the comforts of family and home. 

Fortunately for Stauffenberg, he said his wife back home is very supportive of his Marine Corps life, of which he plans to make a career. 

As leader of a 12-man squad, he said the rewarding part of what he does is training, mentoring and motivating each of his Marines.

One of the proudest days of Stauffenberg's life, he said, was graduating from the Marine Corps Recruit Training, San Diego, California. 

His parents, brother and sister flew out to watch the graduation ceremony. His father was especially proud of him as he'd been in the Marine Corps from 1992 to 2000.

One of Stauffenberg's favorite deployments was with U.S. Marine security forces in Baghdad in 2021. There were some drone strikes and rocket attacks, but he said he felt in good company with his fellow Marines watching each other's back.

During that deployment, they learned that two Marines from his unit that he knew were killed in Kabul, during the evacuation. Stauffenberg said that was a very sad time for him in an otherwise enjoyable career.

After this deployment, Stauffenberg said he has received orders to the School of Infantry to become a combat training instructor. Fortunately, the school is at Camp Pendleton.

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