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Sunday, May 13, 2007

US Marine's meritorious Promotion in Iraq

Courtesy of the United States Marine Corps

Marine’s leadership, knowledge earns him meritorious promotion in Iraq
May 13, 2007; Story ID#: 200751324544

By Cpl. Zachary Dyer, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing

Sgt. Eric Roeder, a flightline mechanic with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, recently won the II Marine Expeditionary Unit meritorious staff sergeant board while deployed to Al Asad. Roeder, a Belleville, Ill., native, has been in the Marine Corps for five years and plans on making it a career.

AL ASAD, Iraq (May 13, 2007) -- In the Marine Corps, staff noncommissioned officers are looked at as some of the best in their field. They are the people to talk to when there is a problem in the shop, the leaders that Marines look at for guidance. Every now and then, a junior Marine rises above and performs in a manner commensurate with these leaders.

Sgt. Eric Roeder, a flightline mechanic with the “Red Lions” of Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 363, recently won the II Marine Expeditionary Force meritorious staff sergeant board while deployed to Al Asad.

“I came to the squadron last year, and immediately Sgt. Roeder stood out,” said Gunnery Sgt. Robert Sanders, the flightline chief for HMH-363. “The SNCO’s were on a (detachment) to Yuma, so basically the shop was being run by sergeants. It was being run by a couple of them, but mainly Sgt. Roeder. He showed the mentality of doing a SNCOs job as a sergeant while the others were gone. And he continues to do that with everything he does, whether it’s MOS related or Marine Corps related. Obviously he’s a well rounded Marine.”

Roeder, a Belleville, Ill., native, is responsible for maintaining the engines, gear boxes and flight controls for the CH-53D “Sea Stallions” flown by HMH-363. Roeder is also qualified as an aerial observer. As an AO, Roeder helps the crew chief while the aircraft is in flight.

“I’m basically there to help move cargo, and as another set of eyes to keep everything clear,” said Roeder.

Roeder feels that flying in one of HMH-363’s Sea Stallions is the best part of his job.

Roeder, who re-enlisted in October 2006, has been in the Marine Corps for five years, four of which have been spent with the Red Lions of HMH-363. For Roeder, there were multiple reasons why he joined the Marines.

“It was a little after 9-11,” Roeder said. “I’d be lying if I said that didn’t play a part in why I joined, but it wasn’t the whole reason I joined. I had a couple of friends in high school who joined the Marine Corps. They had contacted me about a month before I talked to the recruiters and it sounded like a pretty decent deal, they were having a good time.
Honestly, it was time to do something new. It was after high school and I wasn’t going to college. I was working at Subway and a place called the Deli Lama.”

Since joining the Corps, Roeder has excelled in his job and overall as a Marine. Roeder’s fellow Red Lions believe that no one deserves the promotion more than him.

“I say he’s a good friend of mine, but I can’t think of anybody that’s more deserving of it than him,” said Sgt. Adam Bennett, a flightline mechanic with HMH-363. “He’s worked hard enough that he deserves it. And it’s a good thing on our shop and our squadron. It’s a testament to what our squadron does, what our shop does.”

Roeder’s leadership of the junior Marines he works with is an asset to the Red Lions, according to Sanders.

“He’s constantly on them to do the right stuff,” Sanders said. “He’s always sending the message to the younger guys about maintaining your discipline and your leadership, and all those traits required to be a Marine. But he also has that play around, human being side as well. He’s got it all, and I don’t think there is anybody else here like him.”

The Marines underneath Roeder appreciate his knowledge and willingness to lend a hand, according to Bennett.

“He’s real big on troop welfare, and he’s always helping out,” Bennett said. “He knows what it’s like being the young guy who gets worked a lot. He’s real big on helping the junior Marines out. Even though he’s excelled in the job field as much as he has, he’s not afraid to go out there and work and do everything that we have to do to get the job done.”

The deployment has kept Roeder and the Marines he works with busy.

“In March we flew 842 hours, which is huge for our airframe,” Roeder said. “In Hawaii, we were in the paper for flying 300, so an 842-hour month is insane.”
Despite the fast tempo of the deployment, Roeder said he has had a good time, but that he is looking forward to going home.

“I’ve got a little girl on the way,” Roeder said with a smile. “She’s due at the end of May.”
From Bosun: Bravo Zulu for a job well done!!

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