MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Every day more than 40,000 vehicles pass through the gates of Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune. But who watches the gates to ensure no one is trespassing or attempting to cause harm?
The gate sentries with the Provost Marshal’s Office are charged with guarding the gates. Marine Corps military police officers and Marines with the Fleet Assistance Program are tasked with the responsibility of guarding the base and its community.
"We are the first line of defense for the base," said Lance Cpl. Jose Deleon, a gate sentry. "We want our Marines not to worry about domestic threats by making sure the base is secure."
Marines trained to become gate sentries keep in guidelines with Marine Corps Order 5530-16.
"They are trained in accordance with the Marine Corps Security Augmentation Force order, which includes use of force, defensive tactics, handcuff and baton training, how to apprehend a suspect," said Gunnery Sgt. Dorre, PMO’s training chief. It gives them the tools they need to perform their duties as a gate sentry."
The gate sentries are posted 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. When the average Marine may be home for Christmas opening presents with their children, gate sentries will still be guarding the base.
"We are protecting everyone. Not only are there thousands of Marines, but civilians and children too," said Lance Cpl. Nicholas Fazio, a gate sentry. "We show ourselves in a professional manner. "There are residential areas, daycare centers and hospitals so it’s important to protect everyone on this base."
In addition to providing security for the base, gate guards also ensure safety, provide assistance and are ultimately a representation of the base and its community to visitors.
"People can feel safe knowing that there are Marines protecting the installation," said Dorre. "When you pull up to the gate you can see they’re well trained and professional and have a good security posture."