KOTZEBUE, AK. -- Stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing flexibility are crucial to the success of every mission. Lance Cpl. Vicente C. Spence is a Hemet, California, native and Reserve Marine who is not afraid to take on new challenges and opportunities any chance he gets.
Spence is a motor transportation operator based out of Miramar, California, with 4th Medical Battalion, 4th Marine Logistics Group, and is participating with his unit at Innovative Readiness Training Arctic Care 2018 in the Northwest Arctic Borough of the state of Alaska, April 13-27, 2018. When he’s not conducting Marine Corps training, Spence works as an electrician in Oceanside, California, at New Wave Electric.
Although Spence is a motor transportation operator by trade, for IRT Arctic Care he is filling many different roles, including assisting the U.S. Army Reserve veterinary team.
“I didn’t really know what to expect when arriving in Alaska,” Spence said. “Working with the veterinary team has been such a great and unique experience. It was definitely stressful at times assisting on the operating table, but I can walk away knowing that I learned a lot.”
Spence joined the Marine Corps Reserve in 2014. He grew up immersed in the Marine Corps culture and that exposure is what drove him to want to serve his country.
“My dad and grandfather both served in the Marine Corps,” Spence said. “Hearing their stories and wanting to be a part of that legacy is what made me want to become a Marine. I know it has made my family proud and it is something I want to pass down to future generations.”
Reserve Marines spend two weeks each year building their capabilities at an Annual Training exercise. This year, 4th Medical Battalion is conducting readiness training by providing medical care to 12 remote villages in the Northwest Arctic Borough. This training helps ensure the service members are ready to activate whenever the nation calls.
“As Marines, we need to be ready for anything on a moment’s notice,” Spence said. “For us who have never been exposed to this type of environment, participating in this type of training can be a real eye opener. It is better now that we learn how to operate in it so if a real situation ever comes up, we are ready to perform.”