Motor transportation is one of the most critical and heavily “populated” military occupation specialties or “MOS” in the U.S. Marine Corps as leathernecks and their supplies can’t perform their various missions without it. Indeed, Staff Sgt. Manson Fowler – a driver instructor with the Headquarters and Support Battalion at Marine Corps Base Camp Butler in Japan – refers to motor transportation as the “lifeblood” of the Marine Corps.
“When supplies need to be moved, they deliver. When the flight line needs refueling, they answer the call,” he explained.
Motor transportation Marines work sporadic hours catering to their unit’s operational tempo, Fowler noted, with some operating under 24-hour dispatch, meaning they’ll literally sleep in the motor pool.
“Trucks leave at all times to complete their missions and our hours fluctuate from time to time,” noted Cpl. Noah Vital, an automotive maintenance technician with 3rd Transportation Support Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 3, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force. “If we have priority vehicles that need fixed, no one leaves the motor pool until that vehicle is back up and running. These are the vehicles that will be the first to be sent out on missions, so we need them operational now.”
According to Sgt. Fowler, motor transportation has to be able to adapt to all aspects of the mission assigned to them. When a convoy rolls out, it is motor transportation Marines who operate the vehicle, the radio and the weapons.
“It is a thankless job but it is good to know that without you the job can’t be done,” he added. “It can be rewarding knowing that you are the only one who can do the task for refueling on the flight line or operating a wrecker. Without you, the unit you are with cannot properly function. Without motor transportation, there isn’t a lot that will get done.”