By Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Manuel Estrada
Marine Corps Air Station New River

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C., May 14, 2012 – Marine Corps Sgt. Donald Edmonston strives every day to set a good example, to accomplish his mission safely and to embody the core values of honor, courage and commitment.

The Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 airframe mechanic and Great Falls, Mont., native, said he takes great pride in developing himself as the best mechanic possible.

He has trained and qualified to obtain every billet in his job field. He also has served as a quality assurance reporter, collateral duty inspector, and collateral duty quality assurance representative.

In his collateral duty, Edmonston is responsible for the prevention of defects to the entire aircraft. The concept embraces all events from the start of the maintenance operation to its completion and requires a detailed working knowledge of all aviation maintenance programs.

Edmonston is the last person to look over an aircraft before it takes flight and is responsible for the safety of the crew before flight, said Marine Corps Sgt. Nickolas Tissandier, the squadron’s collateral duty inspector.

While deployed with a Marine expeditionary unit to Africa, Edmonston said, he was on an MV-22B Osprey that was unable to continue flying after its motor seized. The aircraft landed safely at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti.

Because of Edmonston’s extensive training and qualifications, Tissandier said, the Marine Corps did not have to send more Marines to support the repair effort. The aircraft’s crew swapped out the motor in a week and the Osprey flew out of Camp Lemonnier without a problem.

Edmonston then stayed in Djibouti to share his knowledge with the service members there, Tissandier added.

Back at home, Edmonston puts the same effort into teaching the Marines under his charge. One Marine could not motivate himself enough to shed some extra pounds. Though the squadron’s mechanics do not get a lot of time to perform physical training, Edmonston always finds time, Tissandier said, and he took it upon himself to take that Marine to the gym twice a day until he was fit and meeting standards.

Tissandier said Edmonston has the full confidence of his command, having been meritoriously promoted to both corporal and sergeant. For his part, Edmonston said he only does what is expected of him as a Marine.