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CBRN Marine talks past, present, future

24 Jan 2011 | Pfc. Franklin E. Mercado

Gas gas gas! Eight, seven, six … two, one and done! So who doesn’t have their gas mask on?

If you’ve been to the gas chamber, chances are you’ve had a Marine recite these words to you as you rush to put your XM50 Joint Service General Purpose Mask on.

In many cases, the Marine is Cpl. Christopher Watson.

The 24-year-old native of Lewiston, Maine, is responsible for teaching Marines and sailors the ins and outs of the gas mask and everything having to do with the gas chamber and chemical defense. Watson enlisted in the Marine Corps Dec. 2006 as a chemical biological radiological nuclear defense specialist, and like many, joined for the challenge.

“I wanted to challenge myself,” he said. “… Prove to myself that I could do it.”

As he’s moved up the ranks and forward in his journey through the Corps, Watson says he enjoys his job and the different things it includes.

 “Whether it’s dealing with Marines or tracking small items we must account for the gas masks,” he said. His favorite part of the job, however, was apparent. “I love to teach,” said Watson. “That’s a large part of my job, training Marines.”

He takes this from his senior leadership, Master Sgt. Lannie Parks.

“He sets the example daily for all of his Marines,” said Watson. 

The aspiring corrections officer will surely take those leadership skills as his enlistment comes to an end in Feb. 2011.

“The time I’ve spent here and in the Marine Corps was so valuable,” said Watson. “I’ve learned so much in the four years I’ve been in. I’ve definitely gotten all I wanted out of this.”

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