JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. - Imagine moving your family
hundreds of miles from home in anticipation of doing the job you
love, then getting there and having to do something you never
Spc. Marcus A. Camp faced that challenge. He was
an Army Reservist in Atlanta and had been a truck driver and
mechanic for most of his career. Two years ago, Camp received a call
asking if he wanted an Active Guard Reserve job as an engineer.
Assuming that he would be working on trucks fulltime, he
enthusiastically accepted the position and relocated from his home
in Atlanta to Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He now serves as an AGR
Soldier with the 464th Transportation Company at Fort Belvoir,
U.S. Army Spc. Marcus L. Camp, native of Atlanta, and engineer
with Active Guard Reserve for the 464th Transportation Company form
Fort Belvoir, Va., prepares the engine for a water craft exercise a
board a landing craft mechanized (LCM-8) cargo boat in support of
Quartermaster Liquid Logistic Exercise 2014 (QLLEX) on June 11,
2014. The 464th focuses on the transportation of water purification
equipment for this exercise. QLLEX 2014 operations are set to train
and prepare troops through simulation and real time situations to
store and transport petroleum as well as purify, store and transport
water on a national level in anticipation of future real world
missions. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Monica M. Warren)
“I love to work on trucks,” said Camp. “I never imagined
However, on his first day
of training for his new job, he was in for a surprise. The
job had nothing to do with trucks. Camp raised his hand to
alert the instructor that he was in the wrong class but was
abruptly corrected. He took the class, passed, and is now a
watercraft engineer with his unit.
Camp said his
first impression of his AGR job was not a good one. He was
not looking forward to his new job.
“The only water
I like is from a shower,” said Camp.
his platoon sergeant, Sgt. Christopher L. Mortorff, with the
464th Transportation Company, Camp cares most about a few
things: his wife, his Ford Bronco truck, his dogs and
working on engines.
In his new job Camp spends most
of his days sitting behind a desk doing paperwork, and his
main focus is getting that paperwork in on time.
Quartermaster Liquid Logistic Exercise 2014 (QLLEX) is
Camp's opportunity to spend two weeks working on engines
“My main job during QLLEX is to keep this
engine running,” said Camp.
He focuses on engine
maintenance, but also participates in boat drills and other
necessary tasks scheduled for the crew while the Landing
Craft Mechanized (LCM-8) vessel is underway.
who stands at 5 feet 5 inches, is a picture of strength with
his muscular arms and solid frame. He has no problem
navigating up and down the stairs, pulling ropes and chains
or tackling any task assigned to him.
Camp is all
smiles as he eagerly moves from one task to another during
the watercraft exercise. Mortorff briefed all the Soldiers
on board the LCM 8 of the plans for the day. At the end of
the brief, Mortorff asks Camp if he is ready. “I am waiting
on you,” Camp jumps to his feet and replies.
leaps into action along with his crewmates, untying the boat
from its docked position. Soon after, Camp discusses plans
of action for duties in the engine room, he also keeps a
close eye on the condition of the engine while he makes sure
that he follows protocol for safety.
Camp prefers to work on trucks, being on the water and
working on watercraft engines has grown on him.
happy as long as I am working on an engine,” he said.
Camp passionately notes some differences in the LCM 8
motor and the motor of a truck. One being that water-cools
the coolant on a boat and the way coolant cools the engine
in a truck. He also said the propeller shaft acts as the
wheel of a boat, which is a major difference between the
boat and a truck. Camp barely takes a breath as he discusses
a truck's engine verses boat's engine; his love of engines
is evident in his big smile and wide-eyed excitement as he
points out these differences in detail.
that a watercraft mission cannot go forward without key
personnel on board, and the engineer is no exception. He
seems very confident in the young, energetic Camp, and
converses with him several times throughout the mission
about the condition of the engine.
He said that he
is naturally a happy person, but he is especially happy to
be able to do this mission with the Soldiers because it is a
rare treat for him.
“Being out of the office and on
the water working with the Soldiers is great,” said Camp. “I
would rather be out here turning wrenches any day of the
By U.S. Army Spc. Monica M. Warren
Comment on this article