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CAMP BAHARIA, Iraq - Major General Richard Huck, 2nd Marine Division's commanding general, speaks to the Marines and sailors of 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment during a reenlistment ceremony here Oct. 2. Altogether, the 45 personnel reenlisting received approximately one million dollars in reenlistment bonuses, along with future duty station preferences.

Photo by Cpl Mike Escobar

‘Four more for the Corps’ offers 1/6 warriors career-enhancing opportunities

2 Oct 2005 | Cpl. Mike Escobar

Forty-five personnel with 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment reaffirmed their commitment to the Corps during a mass reenlistment ceremony here Oct. 2. Major Gen. Richard Huck, 2nd Marine Division’s commanding general, and Lt. Col. William Jurney, the battalion’s commander, spoke to their Marines and sailors to praise their continued loyalty, along with congratulating them for their efforts fighting in the war on terrorism here in Iraq during the past seven months. “We need Marines like those of you (reenlisting) in front of me today,” Huck said to the homebound troops. “You all are willing to come out here and put your rear ends on the line everyday. I’m very proud to be out here serving with you.” From infantrymen to communications specialists to cooks, They all raised their right hands before Huck and their unit to swear allegiance to the Corps for several more years. Most of them were first term Marines who renewed their service contracts for four years. Altogether, these men received approximately one million dollars in reenlistment bonuses, along with limited choices in future duty stations and job fields. The largest bonus, approximately $35,000, was awarded to reenlisting infantry Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire-guided (TOW) missile system gunners. However, the Marines offer reenlisting personnel more than substantial dollar amounts, said Staff Sgt. Candelario Martinez, 1st Battalion, 6th Marines’ career retention specialist. “Most Marines, when they first come into the Corps, are looking for adventure and educational benefits, like money for college,” Martinez stated. “During their first four years, their first enlistment, they get their adventure in during their deployments. Now, they want their education.” “This second enlistment will enable them to do so,” he continued, explaining how many troops selected non-deployable duty stations to break from high operational tempo and will have more time to spend with family and pursue a college degree. “It feels good knowing that these Marines are able to make this sound decision for their future.” Sergeant Jorge Granados, a TOW gunner also serving as 1st Battalion, 6th Marine’s colors sergeant, is one Marine who will take advantage of his time spent stateside to pursue personal goals. The 22-year-old Clearwater, Fla. native aims to be a recruiter in his hometown, where he will employ his social nature on and off the job. “As a recruiter, I’ll be able to use my people skills the go after the nation’s best young men and women to keep (the Corps’) 229 years of history alive,” said Granados, a veteran of combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Granados added that the networking skills acquired on the job will also help him recruit students into the Clearwater Choi Kwang Do academy, where he serves as a first degree black belt head instructor. The leadership and patience learned from a military lifestyle are invaluable to everyone, whether they stay in the service or transition back to civilian life, Granados further explained. Improving upon these traits is another reason he chose to stay Marine. “The Corps molds you into a leader and brings out confidence and traits in you that people and employers look for,” Granados said. For now, he and the 44 other reenlisting Marines prepare to tackle their new assignments, many of which will take them to new locations. They left the ceremony anticipating the future challenges. “My hats off to each and every one of you,” Huck stated toward the end of his speech. “I can’t think of a better job than serving alongside the Marines, sailors, soldiers and airmen of the 2nd Marine Division.”