Todd Gilbert, United States Marine Reserve, attended Marine Corps recruit Depot, San Diego in the summer of 1986. After three months and successfully completing boot camp he was assigned to 6th Engineer Support Battalion (6th ESB) Engineering Co A and performed the responsibilities as Supply Admin and Operations Specialist. He worked close with his senior enlisted officers completing tasks in preparation of unit drills, exercises, performing inventory duties, weapons cleaning and maintenance in the armory, and ensuring equipment, supplies, and other administrative responsibilities were completed.
Upon a short transfer to the University of Arizona, then PFC Gilbert was assigned to 6th ESB Bulk Fuel Co A of Tucson, AZ. He was trained to perform tasks associated with bulk fuel operations, upkeep maintenance, safety, handling of hazardous materials training, bulk fuel transfer, storage and servicing of bulk fuel vehicles. He earned his rank of Lance Corporal while stationed there. After completion of 1 semester at the University of Arizona, Lance Corporal Gilbert returned to Engineer Co A and completed his Reserve responsibilities after 4 years with his Honorable Discharge on September 23rd, 1989.
6th ESB History
World War II
The Battalion was activated on 1 November 1944 at Guadalcanal as the 6th Engineer Battalion, 6th Marine Division. During World War II, they participated in the Battle of Okinawa and the Occupation of Japan (AugustNovember 1945). In October 1945, they were redeployed to Tsingtao, China. The battalion was deactivated 26 March 1946.
The Battalion was reactivated on 1 November 1957 at Swan Island, Portland, Oregon as the 3rd Engineer Battalion of the Marine Corps Reserve. On 1 July 1962, they were redesignated as the 5th Engineer Battalion.
Redesignated again on 31 May 1976 as the 6th Engineer Support Battalion (6th ESB), 4th Force Service Support Group. Elements of the battalion participated in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm in Southwest Asia from January til April 1991
Operation Iraqi Freedom
In Operation Iraqi Freedom, 6th ESB was responsible for fueling coalition forces as they moved northward through Iraq. They also provided purified water supplies to the Marine Corps desert and urban encampments. During Iraq's worst sandstorm in 20 years, Marines of the 6th ESB constructed the longest fuel line in the history of the Marine Corps.
Continued support in 2004 to 2005 was given by 6th Engineer Support Company and Bridge Company A from Battle Creek, Michigan. During this time Engineer Support Company was re-designated as Combat Service Support Company 113 (CSSC-113). Missions during this time included base operations in over a dozen different locations and resupply convoys during Operation Phantom Fury in November 2004. Four Marines were killed in action during this tour. Bridge Company A was attached to the US Army's 155th Engineer Group and rebuilt and maintained bridges all over South/Central Iraq. Their most significant repair mission was to repair a highway bridge at Checkpoint 34A (South of Camp Striker) on Main Supply Route Tampa during early November 2004 that had been damaged by VBIED attacks in order stop the flow of supplies and reinforcements to Fallujah during the campaign there. Projected to take 7 days to repair, Bridge Company A repaired the bridge while under fire in less than 32 hours.