Face of Defense: Lance Corporal Provides Leadership

PATROL BASE WOLFPACK, Afghanistan — “Fire and for­get” in mil­i­tary jar­gon refers to a weapon that does­n’t require fur­ther guid­ance to reach the intend­ed tar­get after launch.
Marine Corps Capt. Christo­pher L. Buck, com­mand­ing offi­cer for E Com­pa­ny, 3rd Light Armored Recon­nais­sance Bat­tal­ion, and a native of Per­ry, Mich., refers to one of his Marines as a “fire-and-for­get weapon.”

Buck described Lance Cpl. Zach R. Mullin, a team leader in 1st Pla­toon, E Com­pa­ny, and native of Clio, Mich., as a Marine who under­stands the commander’s intent. “You tell him what to do, and he’s gone,” Buck said. “He’s one of those guys you hope stay in.” 

Even at this ear­ly stage in his Marine Corps career, Mullin has earned the trust of the Marines around him. 

Mullin’s matu­ri­ty and lead­er­ship “are well above his present rank,” Buck said. “He is one of the best team lead­ers in the company.” 

Mullin, who attend­ed Clio Area High School, helped to devel­op pat­tern analy­sis for E Company’s area of oper­a­tions dur­ing the unit’s deploy­ment. He also was effec­tive in gath­er­ing intel­li­gence because of his abil­i­ty to suc­cess­ful­ly com­mu­ni­cate with Afghans, some­times with­out the help of an interpreter. 

“He made the local Afghan com­mu­ni­ties feel com­fort­able with the Marines, which result­ed in him gath­er­ing impor­tant intel­li­gence,” said Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Daniel R. Cush­man, pla­toon sergeant for 1st Pla­toon, E Com­pa­ny, and native of Madi­son, Wis. 

Mullin gives cred­it for his suc­cess to the hard­work­ing Marines who sur­round him. 

In their first fire­fight, the tough­ness of his team was exem­pli­fied when fel­low point man, Marine Corps Lance. Cpl. Steven Mar­tinez, a native of San­ta Bar­bara, Calif., took cov­er and imme­di­ate­ly returned fire. 

Mullin also cit­ed a time when Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Nicholas W. Sainz, an assis­tant team leader in 1st Pla­toon and a native of La Habra, Calif., showed the platoon’s con­stant vig­i­lance when he spot­ted an observ­er before the insur­gents were able to exe­cute an attack. 

Mullin said after E Company’s mis­sion is com­plete in Afghanistan he will go home to his wife, Madison. 

“The hard­est part about being deployed is being away from her,” he said. “If I could find a way to bring her in my main pack, I could do this for years.” 

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

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