Photo Information

Sgt. Willie Terrell shuttles guests to the Evening Parade at Marine Barracks Washington, July 10. Terrell is the platoon sergeant for the Motor Transport Section, which is responsible for transporting Marines and their guests to thousands of events and ceremonies each year.

Photo by Cpl. Jacob H. Harrer

Motor T always on Duty at the Oldest Post

17 Aug 2009 | Lance Cpl. Johnny Merkley

If you have ever seen the Silent Drill Platoon or U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps perform in Washington D.C. or abroad, the odds are a driver from the Motor Transportation Section of Headquarters and Service Company was responsible for getting them there.

The Motor Transportation Section knows how important their work is to the success of Marine Barracks Washington. Whether driving the roads of Iraq, or the streets of Washington D.C., for the Marines of Motor Transportation section, the mission remains the same.

The Motor Transportation Section here must continuously provide support and logistics for Marine Barracks Washington.

At the Barracks, they trade their tan, sun-scorched armored vehicles for shiny, blue buses decorated with recruiting logos and pictures of Marines in dress blues. However, much like a deployment, the drivers are working around the clock, transporting ceremonial units to performances and funerals.

Their operational tempo is fast and heavy, requiring drivers for thousands of ceremonies each year. With this schedule, there isn’t much time for relaxation, which as a result brings the platoon closer together.

“It’s a very unique platoon because we have such a large team of NCOs’,” said Capt. Brandon Mills, the Motor Transportation Section officer. “When you put Marines together and put them through the same tough times, they grow closer.”

While the mission can be taxing, the Marines still remain motivated, enjoying their job and its versatility.       

“Motor T is an outstanding job because you work with Marines from every section,” said Cpl. Jimmy D. Langham, a bus operator with Motor Transport Section. “It really gives you a deep connection with the Marines through out the battalion.”

        Being apart of the Motor Transportation Section doesn’t just require long working hours, the Marines must be flexible, always prepared for last minute requests that forces Marines to adapt and overcome the situation.

“It’s never really a normal day with Motor T,” said Langham. “It always keeps us on our toes. You get to see a lot of things you wouldn’t normally see with other jobs.”

Unlike other Motor Transportation Sections throughout the Marine Corps, these Marines are constantly on the move, traveling up and down the East Coast. From frequent stops at Marine Corps Base Quantico Va., to New York City, the Motor Transportation Section has a big part in the overall mission of the Barracks.

This also rings true during parade season, as these Marines play a major role supporting the Evening Parades shuttling guests and VIP’s to and from the parade, as well as assisting with crowd control.

As a non-deployable duty station, Marine Barracks Washington remains one of the most operational in the Marine Corps.

 “At anytime a Marine could be called up for a task, so liberty is often sacrificed for duty.” said Sgt. Willie Terrell, the platoon sergeant for Motor Transportation Section. “Marines would not get to where they needed to be if it wasn’t for Motor T.”