Fallen combat instructor remembered

4 Sep 2011 | Lance Cpl. Victor Barrera

At only 24 years old, Sgt. Paul Mauser has done more than most people will ever do in their lifetime. With three deployments under his belt and a bright career still ahead of him, Mauser’s death was too soon.

Mauser was killed when he was struck by a vehicle in the early morning hours of Aug. 5 while conducting training near Camp Devildog.

“I’ve never met a Marine as motivated as Mauser,” said Sgt. Donald Canright, a friend and also a combat instructor with Charlie Company, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry East. “You know when you first join the Marine Corps and you have that motivated aura about you, and over time you kind of lost it, Mauser always had it.”

Mauser was the type of Marine who always volunteered for everything and never complained no matter the task at hand.

As a combat instructor, he was always pushing the young privates and private first classes to strive to be at his level and always took time out to give a hip-pocket class, ensuring that the Marines he trained hit the Fleet, they would be well prepared for whatever they came across.

“He was the first one here in the morning and last to leave,” said Canright. “We’d have to fight with him to get him to go home if we were going to let him go home early, and it was a good little argument too.”

Not only was Mauser a great Marine who lived and breathed the Marine Corps persona, at home he was also a family man, always spending time with his wife and son, Jacob who is one and a half years old.

“He always talked about how beautiful his wife is and how lucky he was to have her,” said Canright. “His son, he’d always tell stories of the mischief he got into.”

At home, Mauser would sometimes sing cadence to his son, further proof that his dedication to the Marine Corps carried on well past working hours.

“His motivation showed me how much motivation I had actually lost. He definitely made us fight to keep up with his level, constantly pushing and volunteering,” said Canright. “He was the first one out on the range as the (point safety officer) for hours and hours on end no matter how hot it was. He never complained, so it makes us have to keep up to that level.”

In the six months Mauser was an instructor with SOI-EAST, he had already shown his enthusiasm and was well on his way for Instructor of the Class.

“He’s just the epitome of what you expect a Marine (noncommissioned officer) to be,” said Canright. “He was a well-rounded Marine. He could work out, was highly motivated, knew his knowledge, loved the infantry, and proud of what he’d done oversea. He gave the students that role model to strive for, to be like.”

While Mauser was a Marine 24/7 he was also a close friend to many and would joke around and also be joked on.

“‘Mighty Mause,’ was his nickname he got because of his size around five (feet) four (inches). He was always motivated too and we’d say, ‘Mause, you’re right here, you need to turn it down just a little bit,’” said Sgt. Everett Hudnell, a combat instructor with Charlie Company, ITB, SOI-EAST. “We’d joke about his size and tell him ‘you have to be this tall to talk to the Marines.’”

Hudnell was a friend of Mauser and served two deployments with him, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.

“As a deployed Marine nothing changed he was always outstanding probably even a better Marine in combat,” said Hudnell. “He always wanted to be with his Marines. I remember he was forced to stay inside the wire because he had been blown up so many times, which upset him.”

On his last deployment, Mauser was hit with four improvised explosive devices. After the fourth IED he was put into the detainee platoon where he was not allowed to go outside the wire due to too many concussions.

“He always put here (SOI) over family and would volunteer to stay late or come in early,” said Hudnell. “Just watching him work I learned that no matter how hard it gets, or how bad you don’t want be here, Marines need to be trained and that you always have got to push through to accomplish the SOI mission of training privates (and) prepare them for Fleet and combat.”

Now that he is gone, Mauser has left a hole in many Marines’ hearts.

“His death was a pretty significant impact on me,” said Hudnell. “The fact that I’ve been on two combat deployments with him and after the last deployment and how many I.E.D.s he got hit by its just hard to imagine that something could happen as tragic as getting hit by a car after all you’ve been through in Marjah.”

Mauser’s awards include Combat Action Ribbon in lieu of one Gold Star, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, three letters of appreciation, the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbon with two Stars, NATO Medal-ISAF Afghanistan, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Navy Unit Commendation and a Meritorious Mast.

He is survived by his wife, Rachel Marie Mauser; son, Jacob Sawyer Mauser; parents, Ken and Martha Mauser of Warren, Ohio and sister, Sabrina Mauser of Warren, Ohio.