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1st Tank Battalion Marine keeps values on track

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. – The Marine Corps is full of unique jobs that require various skill sets and dedicated Marines to fulfill those positions. Jobs range from food service specialist to infantryman and everything in between. But the binding factor that cements the Corps together is the work ethic and core values that Marines are expected to exemplify.
Cpl. Garrett Simpson, an anti-tank missileman with 1st Marine Tank Battalion, Tube-launched Optically tracked Wireless-guided missile (TOW) platoon, understands just what it takes to work in a lesser-known field but still maintain the same ethos for which the Marine Corps is globally-renowned.
“I decided to join the Marine Corps when I was 16,” said Simpson. “All of my life I wanted to be in the military, but the Marine Corps never really appealed to me until I understood what it was and what it stood for. There is something unexplainable about how Marines carry themselves, but once I realized how apparent it was, I knew I had to be part of that organization.”
Simpson grew up in Lexington, N.C., and lived there for the first 18 years of his life until he made the decision to join the Marines. He enlisted to become an anti-tank missileman, and upon graduation, he discovered that he would get the chance to hold a very unique position within the Corps.
“I never knew that TOW platoon even existed until I got orders to 1st Tank Battalion,” said Simpson. “It was very exciting to find out that I would have the chance to work with and around equipment most people never get the chance to see their entire careers. It’s not a traditional or very well-known job, but I know that I hold a very important position and a lot of people count on me to always be on point.”
Cpl. Tyler Sands, an anti-tank missileman with 1st Marine Tank Battalion, and personal friend of Simpson says that since he first met him nearly three years ago at Infantry Training Battalion, Simpson has been a stellar worker, leader, and Marine.
“He brings a lot to the team. He is dependable and he always has something new to teach people in our Humvee,” said Sands.
Within TOW platoon, Simpson works as a driver where he not only drives a HMMWV but is responsible for its upkeep. The HMMWV that Simpson drives is outfitted with an M41 Saber, an anti-tank weapon system capable of firing on heavily armored vehicles from impressive distances with pinpoint accuracy.
“The main goal of TOW platoon is to provide security for tanks during large-scale mechanized assaults,” said Simpson. “It’s a lot to consider knowing that so many people depend on me to do my job and to do it well. When there are so many moving parts it can become cumbersome, but I know that everything I do affects more than just me.”
Simpson says that, even though he finds the job stressful, the benefits far outweigh the occasional stress.
“I think that the Marine Corps changes people a lot and for the good,” said Simpson. “The work ethic that a person develops goes so much further than better performance at the workplace. I don’t think that there is anything in the world that could replace the friends that I have made or the lessons that I have learned in the Marine Corps.”

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