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CAMP HURRICANE POINT, Ar Ramadi, Iraq (April 16, 2005) -Navy Lt. j.g Mike A. Quaresimo, information operations officer, Information Operation, Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, holds up his right hand and takes his oath of office during a promotion ceremony here. The 32-year-old from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., was promoted to the rank of Navy lieutenant in front of more than 30 service members with the infantry battalion who attended to honor him on his day of advancement. Quaresimo volunteered to accompany warriors with 1st Battalion, 5th Marines on their deployment to Ar Ramadi in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Photo by Cpl. Tom Sloan

Photo by Cpl. Tom Sloan

Navy officer with 1/5 promoted during deployment to Iraq

16 Apr 2005 | Cpl. Tom Sloan 2nd Marine Division

The collar of a Navy officer got a little heavier during a promotion ceremony here.Navy Lt. J.G. Mike A. Quaresimo, the information operations (IO) officer with Headquarters and Service Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, was promoted to the rank of lieutenant April 16.Lieutenant Col. Eric M. Smith, commanding officer for 1st Battalion, 5th Marines, said Quaresimo is a highly motivated individual in his address to the more than 30 fellow service members who attended the ceremony. “This promotion means a lot to me because it took place in a combat environment,” said Quaresimo. “It’s rare to be promoted in combat.”Possibly even more uncommon, is a Naval surface warfare officer conducting security and stabilization operations in Iraq alongside Marine infantrymen.“I’m probably the only surface warfare officer patrolling the streets with Marines,” the 32-year-old from Poughkeepsie, N.Y., said. “That’s the best part of my job. I volunteered to come out here with the battalion for that reason.”Conducting missions in Iraq with Marines was a goal for Quaresimo, he said.He was serving as a Naval Gunfire Liaison Officer for 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton, Calif., when he approached the operations officer for 1st Battalion, 5th Marines. After speaking with him, Quaresimo volunteered to serve with them while they’re deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.“He came to me very motivated and expressed his desires to come with us to Iraq,” recalled Maj. Phillip J. Treglia, Battalion Operations Officer. “We needed an IO at the time.”Treglia said he warned Quaresimo he might not like serving in the insurgent infested city of Ar Ramadi.“I told him it was a nasty environment here that he probably didn’t want to be involved in,” recalled Treglia. “He said, ‘that’s fine, Sir, I want to come.’”Quaresimo received temporarily assigned duty orders to 1st Battalion, 5th Marines Feb. 15 and left with the Marines for Iraq Feb. 28. “I wanted to get on the ground with the Marines,” said the 1997 University of Colorado graduate. “My goal was to deploy with them to Iraq so I could do my part.”Quaresimo’s duties as the IO officer consist of countering insurgent and anti-coalition forces propaganda, handing out pro-Iraqi Security Forces fliers and explaining to the Iraqi people that coalition forces are in their city to help them.Patrolling through the city’s streets with the Marines for hours on end might be exhausting work, but it’s nothing Quaresimo, who’s an accomplished triathlete, can’t handle. “Going out and interacting with the young Marines and Iraqi people is great,” said Quaresimo.Quaresimo said he’s had desires to jump ship and hit the streets ever since he was on the USS Thach (FFG-43) during OIF I.“When I was on the ship, I knew the focus of the effort was on the ground, so that’s where I wanted to go,” he said. “Now I’m here, and I’m living out what I set out to do, it’s great.”Quaresimo said he plans on going to San Diego for his next assignment and added that it won’t be as exciting as his current duty. “I think any tour after this one in Ramadi with the Marines will be a letdown.”