OCEANSIDE — In mid-November, a group of United States Marines led a fifth-grade class at Alamosa Park Elementary School in a discussion about how weather changes impact the environment.
The Camp Pendleton-stationed Marines, who are in the meteorology and oceanography section of the First Intelligence Battalion, I Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group, showcased their knowledge by explaining real-world weather forecasting applications to the students.
The class covered different kinds of weather, its causes and effects, and the history of weather forecasting uses.
“Weather affects pretty much everything you do on a daily basis,” said Master Sgt. Joseph Thompson, a native of Fresno and staff noncommissioned officer in charge of the meteorology and oceanography section. “Whether that’s going to and from school or work, what to wear in the morning – everyday activities.”
The discussion provided an opportunity to bolster the relationship between Marines and the local community. In the class, students conversed with the Marines and asked well-constructed questions that challenged the experienced instructors.
“It blew my mind how smart (the students) were,” Thompson said. “If I only had even a nugget of what they know when I was their age, I probably would’ve been strides ahead of where I am now.”
Thompson joined the Marine Corps in 2003, obtained two military occupational specialties, deployed three times and served as an instructor of the meteorology and oceanography forecasting course, to name a few of his career accomplishments. Thompson was also selected for promotion to take on more responsibility as a master gunnery sergeant.
Alamosa Park students enjoyed their time spent with the Marines, who found the opportunity to serve their local community and work with future leaders a privilege.
“I see this as another way to give back,” said Master Sgt. Edward Erdmann, a native of Fresno and an infantry operations chief with the battalion. “This is one of those gratifying moments that I get to do in my career. For us to come out here and do something as small as this and leave a lasting impact, you can’t compare that feeling.”
At the conclusion of the class, both the Marines and students learned a great deal from each other and await the next opportunity to learn from one another again.