Today, it was my pleasure to speak with Staff Sergeant Zac Salomone of the United States Marine Corps. Stationed in the US at the moment, Zac took me through his current position along with the track that brought him to it. To say this interview is an honor is a true understatement.
KC: Thanks for joining me today, Zac! What is your official position, (if you are allowed to tell me)?
ZS: My MOS Code is 1142, which is an electrical equipment systems repair technician. I’m also the Funeral Coordinator for Veterans in the Southeast Michigan Area.
KC: Wow. Those are two very different day-to-day positions! Starting with the Funeral Coordinator, how did you end up overseeing something so personal?
ZS: Well, to be honest, I never planned on doing it, but now I feel honored. My job is to make sure that the last farewell for these veterans is one of tremendous dignity for both their legacies and their families. I take a high level of pride folding the American flag, it’s a very special gift that I am able to give to their next generation.
KC: That must be emotional but also very rewarding to make sure that everything is handled properly. Switching gears to the other major role you play, how did you end up as an electrical equipment systems repair technician? And, what does that entail?
ZS: Well, that role was given to me after I finished Marine combat training; I didn’t actually sign up for it. When teams are out in the field, especially in hot climates, I’m working to make sure that important things like the com gear, and even medications, are not overheating. On the other hand, when I’m the guy that rolls into a zero-degree tent with a heater, I’m an instant hero. Another thing that people may not realize, is that outside of your MOS, your duties can vary a lot. On my first deployment to Afghanistan, I ended up working closely with the Navy docs, performing first aid and triage because they needed the help. As a Marine, you have to be ready to step in and step up wherever you’re needed.
KC: The logistics that go into the military camps are truly amazing. That said, what has been the biggest learning to date from being a Marine?
ZS: With rank comes incredible responsibility and accountability. I always remember that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When you’re a Marine, you have to make the right choice. That discipline is installed into every recruit on day one.
KC: And, along those same lines, what do you value the most about being a Marine?
ZS: The camaraderie and brotherhood. There’s an unspoken language between Marines that isn’t just found on site but really anywhere. For example, if I’m driving down the street and I see a Marine at the bus stop carrying groceries, I’m going to pull over and offer him a ride.
KC: And, lastly, when you’re thinking about the types of Marines you want on your team, what attributes stand out?
ZS: I want people who are ready to give everything they’ve got and then some more. They have to be physically and mentally prepared coupled with a willingness to handle everything that can come our way.
Thank you Zac, not only for this incredible conversation but also for everything that you do for our country! To learn more about the US Marine Corps, please visit: https://www.marines.com/.