Marne Faces, Marne Places: It's more than 'gas and go' for fleet manager
February 11, 2010
<b> FORT STEWART, Ga. </b> - There are not many people you will find who have been working in the same place for 30 years.
But should you decide to find such a person, look no further than John Brinson at the Fort Stewart Transportation Motor Pool. As the TMP Fleet Manager for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, Brinson manages the wide array of cars, trucks, and busses for the installation.
Even though they all come from the factory, not just any vehicle can be found on the motor pool lot. According to Brinson, vehicles are based upon the mission of 3rd Infantry Division and garrison activities on post.
"For instance, we have about 75 busses because we have to bus all Soldiers to and from the airfield at Hunter who deploy or redeploy," said Brinson. "And when they are not in a deployed state, then the busses are used to transport them to and from the ranges for training. And don't forget the dependent school kids that are transported to the Department of Defense schools on post during the school season."
TMP also provides a bus that commutes to Fort Gordon three times a week for medical appointments for Soldiers and Family Members. Plus, there are the supply runs between Stewart-Hunter every day.
Don't have your military driver's license' That can also be resolved by civilians and military members taking the test at Stewart, which would allow them to drive the non-tactical vehicles.
Throughout the years, the faces in the TMP have changed.
"There are no longer any military working here," said Brinson. "All of our drivers are contractors. But even though TMP is a contracting entity, we are all part of the same team."
Brinson has also seen changes in the vehicles during his tenure.
"It used to be the only vehicles that had air conditioning were the commanding general's and the ambulances," he said. "Now all of the vehicles are much nicer with power equipment like windows and steering."
Budget cuts have affected some aspects of the TMP operations, but Brinson takes an optimistic approach to it by saying that they are just a part of the job, and we have to accept them.
A native and a graduate of Statesboro High School, Brinson did a short stint in the Army, serving with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, N.C. After operating a service station for a while, he was then enticed into working on Fort Stewart.
Even though he has 30 years under his belt, Brinson expresses no desire to retire in the immediate future.
"I enjoy this job and the opportunity it gives me to interface with so many different people on the post," said Brinson. "There is nothing that I dislike about my career."
From his spot, Brinson has seen changes occur over the past years, especially with the Soldiers.
"Soldiers seem to be better trained and educated," said Brinson. "I have seen the changes in their Family life and their attitude is just better all around."
The exterior stoic faAfASade of the man can be misleading to some who do not know him. Brinson is a supervisor who will get out there with his workers and do the same tasks, some of which tugs at his heart, especially during deployments.
"I have seen Families of children clutch onto the legs of their dads as they get ready to leave to get on the bus," said Brinson. "It's hard to watch the kids crying and then the wives and other Family Members begin to cry. Even John Wayne shed tears when he was alive."
Brinson is a single father who expresses bragging rights on his children, John Jr. and Rachel.
"My son is an electrical engineer in Augusta and Rachel attends Georgia Southern University, majoring in elementary education."
In his spare time, Brinson loves raising his hogs, cows, and chickens at his rural home area in the 'Boro.