Face of Defense: Arizona Marine Eyes ‘Big Picture’

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Davi­son Sliv­ers has spent two and a half years over­seas serv­ing his coun­try in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Davi­son Sliv­ers super­vis­es Marines mak­ing road repairs in Afghanistan’s Hel­mand province, Nov. 6, 2011.
Marine Corps pho­to by Lance Cpl. Kather­ine Solano
Click to enlarge

Sliv­ers said he uses the expe­ri­ence he’s gained in four over­seas deploy­ments over his nine years in the Marine Corps to guide the Marines under his lead­er­ship and watch. “A lot of the Marines mature through­out the deploy­ment,” Sliv­ers said. “You have got to remind them of the ‘big pic­ture’ when they get down about what they are doing here.” 

Sliv­ers, who calls Gana­do, Ariz., home, is the Motor Trans­port Platoon’s staff non­com­mis­sioned offi­cer in charge with the 7th Engi­neer Sup­port Bat­tal­ion, 2nd Marine Logis­tics Group here. He’s also the con­voy com­man­der dur­ing many operations. 

Sliv­ers said he keeps a close eye on his younger Marines, espe­cial­ly since some are straight out of high school and on their first deployment. 

As engi­neers, Sliv­ers said, he and his com­rades con­struct obser­va­tion posts and patrol bases. They also build and repair routes and sup­port infantry units. The Marines, he added, strive to build good will with local Afghans. 

Trav­el­ing for days at a time can get monot­o­nous, Sliv­ers acknowl­edged. But when his Marines get a lit­tle antsy, he said, he has a sure­fire way of boost­ing their spirits. 

“I just remind them of why they are here and what their job is on a dai­ly basis, and what being a Marine in gen­er­al is all about,” Sliv­ers said. “We are here to improve some­thing for local nation­als. We want to help them improve themselves.” 

Sliv­ers said his expe­ri­ence helps him to lead his Marines by exam­ple and to under­stand troops’ frus­tra­tions and the fric­tion that can occur dur­ing over­seas deployments. 

Being able to relate to his Marines, Sliv­ers said, gives him the chance to lift them when they are down and to keep them going when times get tough. 

“The guys I’m out here with know what they are doing real­ly mat­ters,” Sliv­ers concluded. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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