Lance Cpl. Theodore McCormick, a machine gunner with Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, prepares to load an amphibious assault vehicle to begin Exercise Clear, Hold, Build 2 on Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Calif., Sept. 16, 2011. The battalion’s line companies — India, Kilo and Lima — each arrived by helicopters or tracked vehicles to clear enemy activity from the village, establish security and re-build rapport with local nationals. During the Enhanced Mojave Viper training exercise here, the Marines of “America’s Battalion” are training to kill enemy fighters by practicing counterinsurgency operations. Next month, they’ll deploy to Afghanistan’s Helmand province to support Operation Enduring Freedom. McCormick, 22, is from Erie, Colo.
photo courtesy of: Cpl. Reece Lodder, USMC