Photo Information

First Lt. Michael Tozzolo talks with a student from HeadStart International School aboard USS New Orleans here May 17 during a volunteer project. Tozzolo serves with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which embarked the ship, as well as USS Makin Island and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Nov. 14, beginning a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific, Horn of Africa and Middle East regions.

Photo by Cpl. Ryan Carpenter

Unit Marines, ship’s sailors visit schoolchildren in Thailand

17 May 2012 | Cpl. Ryan Carpenter 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Marines and sailors with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit and sailors serving aboard USS New Orleans visited school children, played soccer, and took the students on a tour of the ship May 17.

Mark Goodman of HeadStart International School, whose students represent more than 36 nationalities, said it was the first time many of the children had met members of the military.  

“It was a good cultural exchange,” said Navy Lt. Paul Armstrong, USS New Orleans chaplain. “It benefited the children who are in a phase where they’re deciding what they want to do with their lives, and it benefited the service members (influencing) the next generation on the other side of the world.”

The unit embarked USS Makin Island, USS New Orleans and USS Pearl Harbor in San Diego Nov. 14, beginning a seven-month deployment to the Western Pacific, Horn of Africa and Middle East regions.

"I liked spending time with the kids," said Cpl. Brett Surles, a 21-year-old combat engineer and Cantonment, Fla., native serving Battalion Landing Team 3/1. "I like donating my time for these projects because it lets me experience the culture and it helps remind me that I am a part of something bigger.” 

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
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Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
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LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
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