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3d Marine Division

The Fighting Third

Okinawa, Japan
ROK, US Marines clean up Pohang

By Pfc. Cedric R. Haller II | III MEF/MCIPAC Consolidated Public Affairs Office | February 12, 2015


U.S. Marines have a strong belief that upon leaving somewhere, they must leave it in better condition than when they arrived. Marines with 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment decided to put this belief into action.

Republic of Korea and U.S. Marines banded together to gather trash in certain areas of Pohang Feb. 12 during Korean Marine Exchange Program 15-17.

“Today we went out to interact with the ROK Marines in a setting much different than the tactical training environment we’ve been in throughout the duration of the exercise,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Riley D. Sahm, the officer in charge for Combat Logistics Detachment 46, currently assigned to 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment for the exercise. “Our goal for today was to work side-by-side with the ROK Marines to help clean up the place we’re calling home for this exercise, the local community.”

The Marines were tasked with cleaning sidewalks, alleyways, dried-up riverbeds and other places where trash accumulates in the city.

“I think these kinds of events are good, because it shows the other side of the Marine Corps outside of just warfare,” said U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. George E. Clark, the intelligence chief for 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, currently assigned to 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force under the unit deployment program. “At first there was a little bit of a stand-off because of the language barrier, but once the Marines actually started working together towards the same task, we began having fun.”

The Marines were also visited by many high-ranking members of the Pohang city council

“I can tell that having the ROK Marines alongside the U.S. Marines cleaning up the community is something that the people of Pohang really value,” said Sahm. “This was really a unique experience.”

Through teamwork, laughs and overall camaraderie, the Marines formed relationships with each other that will last for a long time, according to Clark, a Columbus, Georgia, native.

“The next time these Marines see each other they’ll think back to this day,” said Clark. “I haven’t had much interaction with the ROK Marines before this, but it was a real eye-opener and I liked it a lot.”