Lansing, MI, native helps to keep Corps’ secrets safe

By Cpl. Adam C. Schnell

     MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — "The enemy is listening. He wants to know what you know. Keep it to yourself" is a slogan from a World War II-era poster about operational security.
     Posters much like this one still hang in the halls of Marine Corps bases and when Marines walk by them, it’s a reminder that loose lips can sink ships.
     For Lance Cpl. Joshua A. Sinclair, a Lansing, Mich., native and Marine Air Ground Task Force planner for 2nd Marine Division, practicing OPSEC is a daily responsibility. If he doesn’t make sure he safeguards the information he works with everyday, it could mean the loss of life for many of his fellow Marines.
     This responsibility wasn’t always part of the 2000 graduate of Eastern High School class who worked at a movie theatre and as a manager at a local pizza place before joining the Marine Corps. He spent more than two years working until he heard Uncle Sam’s call on one of the most infamous days in history.
     “My main reason for joining was the attacks on 9-11,” Sinclair explained. “But it was also about the time where I started realizing I didn’t want to be a Domino’s manager forever.”
     Less than a year after that famed day, the soft-spoken man became a recruit at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego. He then graduated from boot camp and was sent to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif. to train to be a basic rifleman.
    “I still think about a lot of the things that were done in boot camp,” Sinclair chuckled. “Sometimes it just makes me laugh.”
     He then completed his military occupational specialty school in Virginia, and received orders to Headquarters and Service Company, Headquarters Battalion April 14, 2003.
     Now, the slender-built Marine spends most of his time at a computer in a classified room helping deploy 2nd Marine Division Marines to places all around the world. With Iraq being the main focus of his energy, he prepares documents ensuring the proper personnel and equipment make it to their destination.
     “I guess the best way to think of me is as a glorified travel agent,” Sinclair added. “I help get people where they need to go.”
     Like many Marines, Sinclair must wear a number of hats in the office. Another hat he wears is making sure classified materials and equipment are always accounted for, reducing of the threat of leaking information to the wrong people.
     “One of the best things I can say about him is if I give him a task, I never have to worry about if it gets done or if it gets done right,” said Sgt. Ryan D. Hardy, a force deployment noncommissioned officer and Rogersville, Ala., native.
    It’s this hard-working redhead’s ability to wear many hats that won him a nomination in a recent Headquarters Battalion Marine of the Quarter board. He competed against six other Marines on the board and displayed the knowledge and bearing to win.
   “I got a lot of help from Gunnery Sgt. Quailes. He helped run mock boards and taught the entry and exit procedures,” Sinclair explained. “He gave me all the tools I needed to go up on the board and win.”
     And win he did.
    “I hope to go on a meritorious corporal board and being the Marine of the Quarter will hopefully helped me get promoted,” added Sinclair.
    After spending a lot of time performing his daily duties and studying for boards, Sinclair uses his 6-foot-3-inch height to his advantage playing basketball with co-workers and friends. This is one of the ways he relieves the stress built up during the day.
    “I never played basketball for my high school or anything, but I loved it every time I played it at the YMCA or playground courts,” Sinclair explained.
      Recently he has had to forego basketball as he prepares for an upcoming deployment to Iraq where he will continue to keep the same job he has currently.
   “I am really excited and ready to go,” Sinclair said. “I can’t wait to get the experience that comes from deploying over there.