Marine for Life builds business partnership for Marine hires

Marine for Life builds business partnership for Marine hires Maj. Erin Mackin US Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Forces Reserve Public Affairs, The Globe.  Posted Thursday, July 25, 2013.

Alaska-based Tikigaq corporation chief executives met with local Marine for Life personnel, honoring their partnership here this past May.

This meeting marked the local success with partnership between Marine for Life and Tikigaq resulting in employed veterans and a successful environmental improvement project. Through local Marine for Life representatives, Tikigaq has hired 14 Marines for a surface debris clearance project at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

Former Marines, who register with Marine for Life, are thankful for the employment opportunities that these fruitful relationships grow.  Derek Brown, a former infantry machine gunner, signed up with the program in 2010 and is now employed with Tikigaq here.

“Marine for Life is beneficial.  If I hadn’t been a part of Marine for Life then I wouldn’t have gotten this job and be fully employed now,” Brown said.

Tom Cherish, Tikigaq project site manager, was responsible for project-specific Marine hires that have assisted in removing nearly 1.3 million pounds of range-related debris, including more than 1,400 pieces of “live” unexploded ordnance.

“Being a veteran, father of a veteran, father-in-law to a veteran and active-duty Army pilot, when I was introduced to the Marine for Life Program, it was a blessing, “said Cherish. “Being able to offer employment to these women and men is the greatest feeling.”

Tikigaq provides an array of services such as project management, construction, and environmental project oversight.  David Leadenham, General Manager of Agviq LLC, a Tikigaq subsidiary, recognizes that they have found the great human resource pool in transitioning and veteran Marines.

“Utilizing the Marine for Life Program at Camp Lejeune was quick and effective in providing a talented, focused and physically-capable workforce that aligned perfectly with our project resource demands,” said Leadenham. “We are also pleased that we have the opportunity to provide something back to those that served our beloved Nation.

Lt. Col. Jerard Brewer, district officer in charge, and Staff Sgt. Nichole Mason, Jacksonville hometown representative and base liaison, attended at Tikigaq’s invitation. Mason was commended by Tikigaq’s leadership, Cherish and Brewer as having a direct effect on successfully placing Marines and contributing to the project’s accomplishments.

“Tikigaq has provided the ideal and model partnership with Marine for Life.  They are very professional and take care of their own,” said Mason. “This is the type of loyalty and security Marines need when facing the major transition to the civilian sector.

The Marine for Life Program connects Marines with job opportunities across the country by growing relationships with employers, sharing with them the value of employing veterans with leadership skills, integrity, and the ability gel a team for the good of the business.  Unique to the Marine Corps, this program is run by a cadre of experienced Reserve and active-duty Marines who work one-on-one with Marines, employers and mentors linked into the program.

“I’m fortunate enough to be involved with such a great program and help Marines find success in the small town of Jacksonville, North Carolina,” said Mason. “I’m part of an ongoing network where the people are veteran-friendly and Marines help Marines.  I will definitely use Marine For Life to assist me when the time comes to transition.

Tikigaq management continues their interest in hiring Marines and keeping them employed, recognizing the benefit to the company as much as the benefit to our nation’s veterans.

“Seeing these veterans, some with young families, getting a helping hand through the Marine for Life program can only reinforce their confidence that they are not, and won’t be, left behind,” said Cherish. “I hope with continued support and recognition that we as a team will continue working with this important program.

The surface debris clearance of range debris in MCB Camp Lejeune includes three project locations for  a combined 3,875 acres of active ranges. Unexploded ordnance technicians and sweepers used visual surface clearance techniques to identify debris in 100-foot by 100-foot grids on the range.  The debris was certified and subsequently verified for status of energetic material prior to transport and disposal.  All items identified as hazardous were subsequently disposed of by detonation.  This procedure was conducted using trained personnel.

For more information about the Marine for Life Program, visit

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