Vietnam native leads Marines, never forgets roots
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - Corporal Diemtrinh Williams first heard about the Marine Corps in her high school history class. A native of Vietnam, the Corps and its history struck a chord in Williams that ignited her desire to enlist. Since then, Williams has become a leader of Marines and attributes her success to her focus on her roots.
Williams, a supply administration and operations specialist with 1st Supply Battalion, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, 1st Marine Logistics Group, was seven years old when she immigrated to Salina, Kan., which she now considers home. Even though the 21-year-old Marine has spent more than half her life in the states, she still remembers where she came from.
Williams’ parents moved to America in order to provide better opportunities for their children as life for most people in Vietnam is harsh. A large portion of the population is unable to finish their education due to a lack of funding and resort to agricultural labor. Williams uses this to motivate herself and the Marines around her.
“Vietnam is a poor country and people work hard to make a better life for their families, but sometimes they get used to a more comfortable lifestyle [in the states] and forget where they come from,” said Williams. “My parents were successful because they worked hard. They also taught me to work hard, to never forget where you come from and to not [take life’s comforts for granted.]”
It is these principles that Williams applies to leading her Marines, especially now that they are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan.
“I teach my Marines to appreciate the small things we have because not everyone is [this blessed],” said Williams.
Although Williams has experience living in another country, this will be her first deployment to Afghanistan, a region with its own unique challenges.
“I’m excited about the deployment but nervous at the same time,” confessed Williams. “The Marines in my unit [shared] their deployment experiences and expectations [for this rotation]. They taught me to be humble and to be calm. We need to always have each other’s backs.”
A combat environment provides its own set of challenges for supply Marines like Williams. Gear accountability, resupply convoy operations and maintenance are just a few of the crucial tasks that must be completed to keep the Marines well-stocked and equipped.
“In preparation for Afghanistan, we’re learning a lot of new things and from every class we’ve given, [Cpl. Williams] is ready to tackle potential challenges in her job and the combat environment,” said Sgt. Ariel Colindres, Williams’ noncommissioned officer in charge, 1st Supply Bn, CLR-15, 1st MLG. “I’m confident she’ll do well over there. She’s always ready to learn and is never complacent.”
Williams believes in the importance of her job and the fact that other Marines are relying on her unit for mission readiness.
“Our job is important,” said Williams. “We need to be there so we can help Marines sort out equipment problems and obtain their gear so that they can accomplish the mission.”