Many people join the Marine Corps for the challenge or opportunity being a Marine presents. For Lance Cpl. Thomas Mauro, the motivation to join was to show his father and grandfather why the Marine Corps is the finest branch in the U.S. Military.
“I joined because it was family tradition,” said Mauro. ”Both my father and grandfather served. My grandfather was in the Navy and my father was in the Army. I also joined because I wanted to kind of show them up because the Marine Corps is better than the other services. I had to one up them.”
Since joining the Marine Corps, Mauro has become a tactical data system administrator, a significant job with Marine Tactical Air Control Squadron 28, Marine Aircraft Control Group 28.
A tactical data systems administrator plans and performs operational management and maintenance on the Marine Air Command and Control tactical data systems. They are responsible for the installation, configuration, management, system administration, and maintenance of all MACCS tactical data systems, hardware and software.
“I set up computer systems that track airplanes, helicopters, and ground troops,” said Mauro. “We track these so there is no conflicting data between the different units.”
Setting them up is just the beginning of what Mauro does on a daily basis.
“I set the system up for other operators to use and then I keep it working properly,” said Mauro. “I make sure it doesn’t shut down or break and, if something does go wrong, I make sure I am there to fix it.”
If something were to happen to this system, it could be very detrimental to the Marine Corps’ overall mission and capabilities.
“If we didn’t have these systems, or weren’t able to set them up and maintain them, there would be a lot of airspace confliction,” said Mauro. “There would be a lot going on that shouldn’t be, like planes and other aircraft flying near each other when they shouldn’t be. It would be extremely hazardous to the pilots and also the ground troops if we weren’t there to track it and know where everybody was.”
Mauro stays motivated knowing the ability to do his job will have large impacts outside of a training environment.
“I find motivation in knowing that I will someday be able to use my skills for the Marine Corps outside of the United States,” said Mauro. “I hope I can apply my job while deployed to different countries when it really matters.”
Mauro plans to take the skills that he has learned while in the Marine Corps and using them in the next chapter of his life after the military.
“I plan on getting out of the Marine Corps after my enlistment and going to college,” said Mauro. “My plan is to continue to progress with the same job outside of the Marine Corps.”
While he doesn’t plan on staying in, Mauro still praises the Marine Corps for setting him up for the future.
“The Marine Corps has definitely changed me for the better,” said Mauro. “If I would have gone to college right out of high school I probably wouldn’t have taken it are seriously. The Marines have taught me a lot about respect and discipline. Now I feel like I can take college and my future a lot more serious than if I wouldn’t have joined.”