USS RUSHMORE --
The Marine Corps relies on a specific military occupational specialty when it needs to move personnel, vehicles or supplies from one location to another. Landing support specialists are the Marines who are the experts in this field, and one particular Marine stands out among the rest.
Sergeant Joshua V. Ruiz, landing support specialist, Transportation Support Detachment, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is a dedicated non-commissioned officer who puts his job and the welfare of his troops above anything else.
If it isn’t his Texas bravado that catches one’s interest, it’s the red patch he wears on his trousers and cover that identify him as a LS specialist. He is one of the Marine Corps’ ‘movers’, as many LS specialists describe their jobs.
“I logistically embark anything from personnel and tactical vehicles, to cargo and ammunition,” said Ruiz, a 22-year-old native of Dallas, Texas. “On a normal busy day, I could be doing anything from conducting a vertical replenishment, conducting beach or pier operations or inspecting vehicles after agricultural wash-downs. We also play a critical role in providing troops with much need supplies or ammunition via airlift.”
What makes Ruiz stand out is his complete dedication to his job, his peers and the Marines under him.
“He’s a hard charger, that’s for sure,” said Sgt. Nelson E. Elwood, a landing support specialist from the same unit. “He gives a 100 percent in everything he does. He is always trying to keep his motivation up, sometimes calling cadence in the hallways. I think these things, and specifically his drive to excel, sets him apart.”
Sergeant Ruiz re-enlisted on Oct. 29, 2012. His goal of becoming a drill instructor has driven him since he became a Marine, and he has already sent in a request to attend drill instructor school.
“I had a set of goals I was thinking about when I achieved the rank of sergeant,” said Ruiz. “One, I’ve always wanted to be a drill instructor. I care about the Marines around me and under my charge. I believe that the greatest form of teaching can be taken out of a combat-like or high stress environment. I want to become a drill instructor to be able to train and teach recruits to become a better generation of Marines.”
Ruiz says he tries to do give 110 percent on a daily basis. He takes inspiration from the leaders in his life and applies them to his job as an NCO.
“When I was a younger Marine, I was close to someone whose father passed away from terminal cancer,” said Ruiz. “If he can go through an experience like that, there’s no reason I can’t keep a positive mental attitude.”
Ruiz also models his leadership from his peers. He said he took a little something from all his leaders when he was a junior Marine and uses that to build his own leadership style.
The 15th MEU is deployed as part of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group as a U.S. Central Command theater reserve force, providing support for maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility.