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U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific

In Any Clime and Place

Not lost in translation

By 1st Lt. Colin Kennard | Marine Rotational Force - Darwin | June 13, 2019

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SHOALWATER BAY TRAINING AREA, QLD, Australia − U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Clayton, a food service specialist with Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, kept the need for Google translator at bay during Exercise Southern Jackaroo.

Clayton, born in Japan and fluent in Japanese, kept all nations on the same page during the trilateral exercise going on in Queensland.

Southern Jackaroo  – hosted by 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment at Shoalwater Bay Training Area – comprised of U.S. Marines and soldiers from the Australian Army and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force.

“The quality relationships we were able to build wouldn’t have been possible without Clayton,” said U.S. Marine Capt. Erick Laque, transportation services company commander with the MRF-D Logistics Combat Element.

When the LCE Marines needed to provide logistical support for the JGSDF Soldiers, Clayton was there to help communicate.

Because every Marine is a rifleman, Clayton studied up on his call for fire skills at a three-day field operation, translated the instructions and procedures into Japanese, and then instructed a call for fire class for the JGSDF Soldiers.

“Training with our Japanese allies was more valuable thanks to Clayton’s abilities,” said Laque.


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