Diatribes of a Knucklehead

During February of 2002 Animal Company 1/7 arrived at the Bn HQ, on Cam Schwab (Okinawa) and Marines working for US Customs held an inspection of the Marines and Docs (selected randomly).

On a “dare” one of our knuckleheads decided to remove a flotation device from under his seat of the civilian airliner.  Once the military police found this it become a huge deal.  This incident would be reported all the way up the chain of command on Okinawa; not a good way to start deployment.

Lance Corporal (LCpl) Javier Bejar was about to be promoted to Corporal (Cpl), but due to his unwise decision, a federal offense, he would not be promoted, in fact he would be demoted to PFC (Private First Class).

I remember this story very well, because I have told it a million times.  Every time a Marine or Corpsman got into trouble while under my charge, they got this talk.  I will tell you the story, just like I have told many of those who needed to know, it could always be worse.

Let me tell you a story about Cpl Bejar -Rivera.  He received Bn NJP (Non-Judicial Punishment) in February of 2002 and was reduced to the rank of PFC.  In the next year accomplished the following:

While in Thailand during Operation Cobra Gold PFC Bejar’s Platoon command element were removed (by evaluators) from a helicopter raid; he took charge of the raid and led an entire platoon through the raid and extract.  Due to his actions, he was Meritoriously Promoted to Lance Corporal.  He continued to excel as shown below:

Company Marine of the Quarter (winner)

Battalion Marine of the Quarter (winner)

Regimental Marine of the Quarter (winner)

Division Marine of the Quarter (second place)

While in Kuwait, awaiting orders to invade Iraq (2003), he was the first Combat Promotion in the First Marine Division; meritorious Cpl.

He became an American Citizen while we were deployed to An Najaf, Iraq.  He continued to excel until he was discharged.

After discharge Javier became a police officer with the Reedley Police Department in Reedley, California.

He was killed in the line of duty in March of 2010.

His funeral was conducted by a joint police/Marine honor guard.

Marines and Corpsmen flew in from all over the US to attend his funeral.  He had been an illegal immigrant who became a US Marine, then a US citizen and then a Police officer.  He gave his life so others may live.

This is a great example of an amazing AMERICAN.

Javier was one of the nicest people I have ever known; he was always smiling.  RIP my young warrior friend.  Javier is a good example of the type of men we had in Animal Company.

image: Javier’s Funeral Pamphlet.

*The views and opinions expressed on this website are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

By David Devaney

David K. Devaney SgtMaj USMC Retired 2009 City of Hit Iraq with PTTDavid was born in Geneva New York and graduated from Geneva High School in 1980. He joined the Marine Corps on a guaranteed Infantry contract in April of 1983. After graduating boot camp he was stationed in Hawaii with 3rdBattalion 3rd Marines (3/3). While assigned to 3/3 he held billets as a rifleman, fire team leader, and squad leader. During 1986 Corporal (Cpl) Devaney was selected as a member of Surveillance and Target Acquisition (STA) Platoon, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marine. Upon graduation of Scout Sniper School he was assigned to the Scout Sniper Section of 3/3 STA Platoon. During his second deployment as a Scout Sniper with 3/3 he was promoted to Sergeant (Sgt). After a tour on the drill field from 1989-1991 Sgt Devaney returned to STA 3/3 were he deployed two more times. During 1994 Sgt Devaney was selected to the rank of Staff Sergeant (SSgt) and ordered to III Marine Expeditionary Force (III MEF), Special Operation Training Group (SOTG); while at SOTG SSgt Devaney was assigned as a Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) and Urban Sniper Instructor and Chief Instructor. At the time III MEF SOTG Instructors were members of Joint Task Force 510 (JTF 510 CT); a Counter Terrorism Task Force. In 1998 he deployed to Operation Desert Fox with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 and was attached to Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 572/594 as a sniper. SSgt Devaney deployed again, during 2000, with ODA 135/136/132 to Malaysia as member of JTF 510, working with the Malaysian National Police. After leaving SOTG Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt) Devaney was assigned to Company A 1st Battalion 7th Marine, and spent much of his time training the Scout Snipers of 1/7. Just before the invasion of Iraq, in 2003, he was selected to the rank of First Sergeant (1stSgt) and led 270 Marines, sailors, and soldiers during combat – receiving a Bronze Star Medal for destroying the enemy and their will to fight. During 2004 1st Sgt Devaney was ordered to duty as the Inspector Instructor Staff 1st Sgt for 2nd Beach and Terminal Operations Company, Savannah, Georgia. During 2007 he was selected to the rank of Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) and received orders to Electronic Warfare Squadron 4 (VMAQ-4) stationed at Cherry Point, NC. There he trained a CADRE which in turn trained a massive Quick Reaction Force in combat operations. After two more deployments to Iraq SgtMaj Devaney received orders to Weapons Training Battalion, Quantico, VA. SgtMaj Devaney retired from the Marine Corps on 31 December 20013. He now works as an adjunct combat instructor at the “Crucible’’ in Fredericksburg, VA. David is also on the Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Scout Sniper Association. David’s published work: Books Devaney, D.K. (2007). Surviving combat: Mentally and physically (3rd edition). 29 Palms, CA: USMC. Devaney, D.K. (2015). They Were Heroes: A Sergeant Major’s Tribute to Combat Marines of Iraq and Afghanistan. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press. Articles Devaney, D.K. (2011) Enough Talk of Suicide, Already! Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2011) Can PTSD Be Prevented Through Education? Proceedings Magazine. Devaney, D.K. (2012) PTSD Is Not Cancer. The Marine Corps Gazette. Devaney, D.K. (2012) Women in Combat Arms Units. The Marine Corps Gazette.

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