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Fire and Forget: Lance corporal’s leadership stems from hard work, discipline

22 Apr 2011 | Cpl. Adam Leyendecker

‘Fire and forget’ in military jargon refers to a weapon that doesn’t require further guidance to reach the intended target after launch.

Capt. Christopher L. Buck, commanding officer for E Company, 3rd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, and native of Perry, Mich., refers to one of his Marines as a ‘fire-and-forget weapon’.

Buck described Lance Cpl. Zach R. Mullin, a team leader in 1st Platoon, E Company, and native of Clio, Mich., as a Marine who understands the commander’s intent.

“You tell him what to do and he’s gone,” said Buck. “He’s one of those guy’s you hope stay in.”

Even at this early stage in his Marine Corps’ career, Mullin has earned the trust of the Marines around him.

“His maturity and his leadership is well above his present rank,” said Buck. “He is one of the best team leaders in the company.”

Mullin, who attended Clio Area High School, helped develop pattern analysis for E Company’s area of operation during their deployment. He was also effective in gathering intelligence because of his ability to successfully communicate with Afghans, sometimes without the help of an interpreter.

“He made the local Afghan communities feel comfortable with the Marines, which resulted in him gathering important intelligence from the areas of operation,” said Staff Sgt. Daniel R. Cushman, platoon sergeant for 1st Platoon, E Company, and native of Madison, Wis.

Despite his success, Mullin gives credit to the hardworking Marines who surround him.

In their first firefight, the toughness of his team was exemplified when fellow point man, Lance. Cpl. Steven Martinez, a native of Santa Barbara, Calif., took cover and immediately returned fire. Mullin also cited a time when Lance Cpl. Nicholas W. Sainz, an assistant team leader in 1st Platoon and native of La Habra, Calif., showed the platoon’s constant vigilance when he spotted an observer before the insurgents were able to execute an attack.

Mullin said after E Company’s mission is complete in Afghanistan he will go home to his wife, Madison.

“The hardest part about being deployed is being away from her,” said Mullin. “If I could find a way to bring her in my main pack, I could do this for years.”

Mullin says he loves being around a bunch of people who have one common interest, and that is to make America a safer place.