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U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Rachel Myers, a crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, performs preflight checks in a CH-53E Super Stallion at Marine Corps Air Station, California, Dec. 13, 2023. As a crew chief, Myers communicates with pilots about in-flight instructions, alerts to any obstacles not visible from the pilot's point of view and works within the maintenance department where they inspect, service, maintain, and repair helicopters. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Samantha Devine)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Samantha Devine

U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Rachel Myers Doing What She Loves

21 Dec 2023 | Lance Cpl. Samantha Devine 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing

Rachel Myers desire to join the Marine Corps began as a child watching military aircraft fly in and out of Naval Outlying Landing Field Imperial Beach, California. Today, Sgt. Rachel Myers is a crew chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 361, Marine Aircraft Group 16, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.  

"Seeing the military through the lens of my father's career as he was stationed in multiple Naval bases in San Diego and being near an aviation base started my interest in military aviation," Myers said. 

Myers attended Coronado High School in Southern California and participated in the school’s Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps program for three years. NJROTC introduced her to military leadership principles, uniform preparation, grooming standards and drill. 

“The NJROTC program was an interesting course to take in high school. It allowed for better integration into the environment of bootcamp and being ahead on the curve on knowledge,” Myers said. 

Myers is a crew chief for the CH-53E Super Stallion, a heavy lift helicopter used for amphibious assault support and transporting equipment and personnel. Crew chiefs are responsible for cargo and personnel loading and unloading. The CH-53E can take off with an internal load of up to 69,750 pounds and can lift 16 tons at sea level.  In addition to managing aircraft safety during these missions, Myers operates the GAU-21 .50-caliber machine gun mounted on the rear gate of the aircraft during flight. 

“We spend a lot of time moving large quantities of people and gear from one area of operations to another,” said Myers. “We have to be able to constantly shift gears from inserting personnel and equipment to flying far distances to resupply our fellow aviation assets to aid them in staying in the fight.” 

During one of Myers most memorable training exercise she and fellow crew members with HMH-361 established air-delivered ground refueling sites at an expeditionary airfield requiring the crew to stay overnight with the aircraft. This event equipped Marines with the skills to perform their duties during real-world operations.  

“I absolutely love my job,” Myers said. “From the things I’ve been able to do, to the various people I’ve been able to work with and support.” 

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