October 27, 2016, MARINE CORPS INSTALLATIONS PACIFIC – His hands are greasy from the oil-stained metal he handles. Yellow light bleeds into the isometric structure of the warehouse. The low dull melody of tools upon tools is almost a wash. He works with engines, wrenches and moves boxes, but in him lays an idea to save Marine lives.
Cpl. Matthew A. Long, a motor transport mechanic, won in a Marine Corps wide logistical innovation competition. He is part of Motor Transport Company, 3rd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Long designed a tear proof package to sit behind a Small Arms Protective Insert (SAPI) – the ceramic body armor Marines wear under their ‘Flak’ jackets. It will be filled with a clotting agent as well as a pain-killing agent. When the packet is pierced it will administer the quick clotting agent and the pain killer, thus stopping the bleeding and numbing the pain, treating the body for shock immediately.
“The whole point of this is immediate first aid,” said Long.
Long, from Moultrie, Georgia, is part of a long lineage of Marines dating back to the American Civil War. Every generation from that point on had at least one family member in the armed services.
“I want to continue on that legacy; it is an incredible motivation just to sit there and think about my entire family and I am continuing that legacy. That is a fire if I’ve ever heard of one,” said Long.
Empowering Marines like Cpl. Long and hundreds of others like him really allows the Marine Corps to branch out and experiment, according to Lt. Col. Dane Salm, the Commanding Officer for 3rd Maintenance Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 35, 3rd Marine Logistics Group, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
The logistics innovation challenge was part of the Marine Corps’ push for innovation among its ranks. Long, among many others, is scheduled to be sent to the United States so he can create a prototype of his idea and share it with the rest of the Marine Corps.
“I know their ideas are fantastic and it is going to transform logistics by leaps and bounds,” said Salm, a Phoenix native.
The knowledge of the Marines today has the capability to change the future of the Marine Corps and the way it operates, according to Salm.
“I was always taught to go into things with an open mind because you can always learn something new,” said Long. “As soon as I got into the fleet I realized that motor transport isn’t that bad, and it was really eye-opening and very humbling how much all these Marines knew.”
Marines like Long have ideas that can save the Marine Corps money and more importantly lives because of leadership that fosters innovation.