1/6 mortarman ‘content taking care of Marines’

20 Sep 2006 | Cpl. Paul Robbins Jr.

Whether it’s providing timely, indirect fire to support the Marines on the streets or bringing cold water to his Marines on post in Ar Ramadi, Lance Cpl. Mark R. Britton is content to be “taking care of Marines.”

Britton, currently a roving guard for Company B, 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, spends his days touring security positions at the government center in central Ramadi.

Serving as the extra “arms and legs” of the sergeant of the guard, the 20-year-old native of Elliotsburgh, Pa., provides ammunition, water, coffee, radio batteries and anything else needed to the Marines on post.

Britton’s presence allows both the Marines on guard and their leaders to stay focused on the security of the center.

“We can’t be around the posts all the time,” said Sgt. Gilbert J. Hernandez, 25-year-old squad leader. “(Britton) gives us flexibility.”

Britton also takes time to talk to the Marines on post, helping enliven the routine of standing watch and raising the morale of the Marines, according to Hernandez, a resident of West New York, N.J.

Although a far cry from his usual duties as a gunner in a mortar team, the two different jobs share one important purpose.

“I’m still supporting Marines,” said Britton. “I’m taking care of my boys.”

Britton’s motivation and good attitude toward his duties as a Marine have been a credit to the company, according to Hernandez.

Last year in Fallujah, Britton taught himself Arabic while standing post, and now has the ability to work as a translator for the unit.

“We have been especially impressed with his good attitude towards his work,” said Hernandez.

With his history of a good work ethic and reliability, Britton has been called upon to shoulder additional responsibilities as needs arise, according to Hernandez.

Britton also serves as a humvee driver for the company and as a machine gunner in the same posts he tours.

“Britton is really our jack-of-all-trades,” said Hernandez.

The small-town Pennsylvanian has welcomed the challenge of his added responsibilities and continues to enjoy his work, said Britton.

With plenty of time left in his current tour, Britton meets every day until the battalion leaves with the same thought.

“No matter what happens here, I’ll be there for them,” said Britton.