CAMP COURTNEY, OKINAWA, Japan --
CAMP COURTNEY, Okinawa, Japan – “Hammer to fit, paint to match,” said Staff Sgt. Patrick L. Sherricker, referring to Maintenance Platoon’s motto. “We’re going to get it done as quickly as possible; then we’re going to make it look sexy.”
Whenever 3rd Marine Division communication equipment breaks, Sherricker's Marines fix it. He is the Maintenance Platoon organics chief with Communications Company, Headquarters Battalion, 3rd MarDiv, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
One particular section of his platoon has played an especially critical role in maintaining the equipment. Since being established late March this year, the miniature/ micro miniature repair section, 2M for short, has saved the Marine Corps over $9,000 by handling work orders involving circuitry.
“We get working on things that people don’t think (are) repairable, and you go in and prove them wrong,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua H. Lowry, a 2M repair technician with Maintenance Platoon.
The 2M Marines accomplished this feat by becoming makeshift manufacturers of circuitry in short supply. Almost all electronic equipment within the Marine Corps contains some form of circuitry that can easily fail. These humble technicians come to the rescue when a short circuit causes a seven-ton to grind to a halt, or causes the coffee maker pumping lifeblood to crusty staff noncommissioned officers to beat its last.
More specifically, when Headquarters Company’s motor transportation needed to repair a circuit card for a seven-ton truck that was put out of commission, the 2M Marines came to the rescue.
“Before we got established as a section, that circuit would be either repaired somewhere else, or a new one would be bought entirely,” said Cpl. Derek J. Poe, a 2M repair technician. “The ability we’re able to provide the battalion is to have that repaired internally.”
Instead of ordering new parts through supply, racking up man hours and inevitably extending wait time, 2M is able to expedite the repair process.
“2M is playing that role by efficiently repairing equipment as quick as possible,” said Sherricker, a Chicago native. “We’ve seen that many times with cable repair. We’ve had high end critical items and critical transmission pieces. That equipment has come in and gone out the same day.”
Maintenance platoon has 60 electronic technicians, but only four specialize in working miniature/ microminiature.
“My goal for the section is not only to build it in this battalion, but to build it in the Marine Corps,” said Poe, a Dequincy, Louisiana, native.
By working hard to meet maintenance platoon’s motto, the 2M section hopes to bring more recognition to the miniature/ micro-miniature field.
“I actually love micro-min,” said Lowry, a Bergen County, New Jersey, native. “If you want to see actual outcome from your hard work, micro-min allows that… I recommend any unit that can, to send more people to micro-min.”