NORTHERN MARIANA ISLANDS –
The 9th Mission Support Command (MSC) is the most geographically dispersed command in the Army Reserve, with Army Reserve centers strategically located throughout the Pacific. These centers provide a forward Army presence in isolated Pacific island communities such as Guam, Saipan and American Samoa.
Brig. Gen. Mark Siekman and Command Sgt. Maj. Corey Thompson, the commander and command sergeant major of the 9th MSC, spent Fourth of July weekend in Guam and Saipan among Army Reserve Soldiers and local government leaders, celebrating the holiday and discussing important issues within these communities.
The Commonwealth of Northern Marianas Islands (CNMI) celebrates America’s independence as well as “Liberation Day” on July 4th. Liberation Day is celebrated annually to mark the permanent closure of civilian internment camps on July 4, 1946 following WWII.
“The community here in Saipan asked the 9th MSC to be a part of the Fourth of July parade,” said Thompson. “It was awesome to see our citizen Soldiers, who are also a part of the local community here, be a part of this very special event.”
“The 9th MSC is the anchor for U.S. Army Pacific in locations like Guam, Saipan and American Samoa. Our Army Reserve Centers provide permanent Army presence on these islands,” said Siekman.
“These Army Reserve centers also provide significant economic benefit to these communities, providing jobs and income for the Soldiers located here,” added Siekman.
For Siekman, understanding the relationship between the Army Reserve and these communities is of the utmost importance.
“Because of the important role the Army Reserve plays in these communities, it is important to have regular meetings with local government leaders,” said Siekman. “We understand the importance of maintaining relationships and we are especially interested in ways in which the 9th MSC can best integrate Army Reserve capabilities to address issues affecting these communities.”
For Thompson, the visit was both novel and informative.
“I only recently joined the 9th MSC team and this was my first time in Guam and Saipan,” said Thompson. “As I met members of the local community, I was surprised by the amount of people who are current or former members of the 9th MSC. Government officials, community leaders and business owners, many of these individuals have ties to the command.”