CAMP GRAYLING, Mich. -- Marines are known for being able to accomplish their mission in any clime and place. Lance Cpl. Isaac Ruiz is a Lubbock, Texas, native and Reserve Marine who characterizes that notion.
Ruiz is a motor transport mechanic with Company F, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, and is participating with his unit in Exercise Winter Break 2018 on Camp Grayling, Michigan, Feb. 4-17, 2018. When he's not conducting Marine Corps training, Ruiz works as a fencing contractor for a local fencing company in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
As the main transport mechanic for Fox Co., 4th Tank Bn., Ruiz is responsible for maintaining a fleet of tactical vehicles operating in the subfreezing temperatures of Northern Michigan during the exercise.
“My main purpose is to make sure all the vehicles here are working properly and are functioning,” said Ruiz. “This training helps me learn a lot about mechanics. If we were to deploy, what I'm doing here would definitely help me out there to keep the operation going.”
Reserve Marines spend two weeks each year building their capabilities at an Annual Training exercise. This year, the Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, based tank company is taking advantage of Camp Grayling’s rugged training areas to test their offensive, defensive and maneuver capabilities in a cold weather environment.
The Reserve force regularly augments active duty operations across the globe. Last year, Fox Co., 4th Tank Bn., sent detachments to South Korea in support of the Korean Marine Exchange Program, Norway in support of the Personnel Temporary Augmentee Program, and Georgia in support of exercise Agile Spirit.
For now, Ruiz is focused on getting the most out of his training at Winter Break 18. He knows the nation’s call to activate could come any day. When it does, he’ll be ready.
“We're trying our hardest to get used to the cold,” Ruiz said. “It's definitely good for the Marines to be used to not only warm weather, but extreme cold weather as well. I really think this training is going to benefits us a lot in the future.”