CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (1/20/22012) – Nicholas Marchioni
enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2000 as an infantryman and like
many, he completed his four-year contract and headed back home to
start a new chapter in his life.
Just a few short months
after he returned to his hometown of Detroit, Marchioni was once
again called to serve.
“I was recalled, so I just reenlisted
and became an engineer,” explained the 30-year-old.
seven years later, Sgt. Marchioni is on his sixth deployment and
finds himself in Afghanistan for the second time, serving as a squad
leader for 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 9th Engineer Support
Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group (Forward).
Sgt. Nicholas Marchioni, a squad leader with 2nd platoon, Alpha
Company, 9th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group
(Forward), enjoys a game of spades with his Marines during some down
time in a route reconnaissance mission, Jan. 2, 2012. The Detroit
native is known as a father figure throughout the platoon. Photo by
USMC Cpl. Meredith Brown
Second platoon operates as the security platoon for 9th
ESB. They are tasked with conducting route and site
reconnaissance missions in addition to providing security
for other combat engineers on the ground.
our job is (so versatile), you become the jack of all
trades, master of none,” said Marchioni with a laugh.
“It seems like most of the time, I go back to my
roots and teach people about machine guns and rifles and a
lot of other things, because I learned how to be an
Spending time with his Marines
and passing on his knowledge and life experiences is
something Marchioni often does, even after the work for the
day is complete.
Before the unit deployed to
Afghanistan, Marchioni would organize barbecues for the
company every weekend outside of their barracks in Okinawa.
“It's how I live, 2nd platoon is my close-knit family
and first squad is like my kids,” Marchioni said.
special bond Marchioni shares with each of his Marines is
evident from the moment you see them interacting.
“Most of (the Marines) have seen me go through some rough
times, but I always seem to be having a good time,” he said.
“It's being able to get through all the craziness of normal
life and still put a smile on your face, go to work and get
done what you have to get done. Always keep driving
For Marchioni, being there for his Marines
and believing in them when they need him is key to being a
“A lot of Marines know I'll do
whatever I can for them and believe in them, if they are
going to fail it doesn't matter,” he said. “I just want them
to put forth whatever they can, give them the benefit of the
doubt as much as I can. A lot of times, doubt is the only
thing keeping the Marine from doing it. I mean we all got
here somehow, trying to be the best.”
looked up to as a leader by many of the Marines in the
platoon; his understanding and patience does not go
“He is more like a father figure,” said
Lance Cpl. Andrew Nelson, a gunner and squad member. “With
the kind of personality he has, before he chews you out,
he'll talk to you about what you did wrong, instead of
making you feel stupid. It's just the way he is and it just
After Marchioni completes this four-year
contract, he plans to get out of the Marine Corps and move
back to Michigan, so that he can spend time with his
7-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son.
By USMC Cpl. Meredith Brown
2nd Marine Logistics Group
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