View Full Version : Junior Marine earns Osprey inspector title

08-29-04, 07:45 AM
Junior Marine earns Osprey inspector title
Submitted by: MCAS New River
Story Identification #: 2004827162034
Story by 1st Lt. Katherine L. O'Neill

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. (Aug. 25, 2004) -- Lance Corporal Micah M. Houck, 20, assigned to Marine Tiltrotor Test and Evaluation Squadron- 22, became the first junior Marine to qualify as an airframes collateral duty inspector for the MV-22 Osprey.

This achievement gives Houck more responsibility than the average airframes mechanic, who maintains the composite (“skin of the aircraft”) and hydraulics parts of the Osprey. Houck said he likes the extra duties.

“I am now held to a higher standard, I am not just an airframes mechanic, “he said. “After I sign off, it could mean whether or not the aircraft is flying, which gives me a better purpose.”

This duty not only requires the Ingram, Texas, native to inspect all the airframe programs, but also requires him to supervise more senior Marines performing maintenance functions.

“I always use tact and remember who I am talking to. If I see a problem with a job, I suggest a fix or simply show them how (to fix the problem),” he said.

Sergeant Jason Westbrook, Houck’s supervisor and Cornwall, N.Y., native, said Houck was one of the most outstanding Marines he has ever met. “His professionalism is leaps and bounds ahead of his peers, and he is always teaching me and other senior Marines new things about the Osprey. He has no problems inspecting his superiors because of the way he carries himself.”

Many people in the section have worked only on CH-46E Sea Knights and CH-53E Super Stallions and are new to the V-22 program.

“I was born and raised on the V-22 program,” said Houck.

Houck not only has worked on the V-22 since he joined VMX-22 in June 2003, but said he was fortunate to be one of six Marines who received temporary assigned duty orders to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., where he trained directly with technology representatives and engineers, and completed most of his composite repair and hydraulics requirements for CDI.

“It was a different animal, an efficient, fast-paced place, where I got to experience above normal operations for a basic mechanic,” he said.

Houck not only met the criteria to be a CDI, but also came well recommended from his superiors.

“The syllabus for becoming a CDI states that you must be at least a corporal; however, LCpl. Houck’s knowledge of the Osprey and work ethic are above and beyond, Westbrook said.
“To be a lance corporal in such a ‘top-heavy’ squadron, meaning 12 sergeants in airframes, and two staff sergeants, one sergeant and one corporal who are all CDIs, and a lance corporal to get a stamp (CDI) like that is incredible.”

When Houck enlisted in the Marine Corps in July 2002, he did not know he would have hands on experience with tilt rotor technology. “I joined because it felt like the right thing to do. I am the fourth generation in my family to be a Marine.”

After leaving Recruit Depot San Diego and completing Marine Combat Training in California, Houck reported to Naval Air Technical Training Center at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Fla. in November 2002, where he learned the basics of being an aircraft mechanic.

Houck reported to Marine Corps Air Station New River in March 2003 and attended V-22 maintenance training at Naval Air Maintenance Training Marine Unit, where he was class honor graduate.

Houck joined VMX-22 in June 2003 and said he intends to stay in the Marine Corps and hopes to deploy in the future.


Lance Cpl. Micah M. Houck, airframes mechanic for Marine Tiltrotor Test and Evaluation Squadron-22, checks the battery connection on an Osprey. Houck checks the aircrafts systems daily. Photo by: Lance Cpl. Jonathan A. Tabb