CAMP GRAYLING, Mich. -- Life in the military is a path not many people take, even fewer take the road of becoming a U.S. Marine.
For Sgt. Michael Colbert, a Lansing, Michigan, native and Reserve Marine with Fox Company, 4th Tank Battalion, 4th Marine Division, the Marine Corps was his calling.
Recently, Colbert had the opportunity to return to Michigan in his Marine Corps capacity as a tank crewman when his unit participated in Exercise Winter Break 2018 on Camp Grayling, Michigan, Feb. 4-17, 2018. When he's not conducting Marine Corps training, Colbert is a fire-protection installer for a construction company outside of Highpoint, North Carolina.
“Being back home is great,” said Colbert. “Yeah, it's very cold out here. But, it's like I'm training in my back yard. On the other hand, this also gets the other Marines out and into a different enviornment. Being here allows us to challenge ourselves and how we can operate as a unit, no matter what the enviornment is.
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 Korea Marine Exchange Program, Norway in support of the Personnel Temporary Augmentee Program and Georgia in support of exercise Agile Spirit.
For now, Colbert is focused on getting the most out of his training at Winter Break 18. He'll apply what he's learned during training to his civilian career.
“Here, in the Marine Corps, you learn how to lead, how to organize and how to be productive,” Colbert said. “Whether it's two hours or seven seconds, you make that time function for you. In the civilian world, it definitely helps out. If you have a job that takes multiple days, with what you learn in the Corps, it could easily be finished in no time.”