Faces of the 24th Marine Expeditonary Unit, part 10: Sgt. Rufus McCall, a food service specialist

30 May 2012 | Sgt. Richard Blumenstein

Sgt. Rufus McCall feeds Marines.

The 29-year-old Los Angeles native is a food service specialist with Combat Logistics Battalion 24, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit. His job focuses on feeding Marines anywhere, whether on a mighty amphibious assault ship at sea or in a field environment.

“I provide a service to the Marines and Sailors,” he said. “I try to make the best meal as I can possibly give them, especially in the field.”

McCall said he was enrolled in a Junior Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps program at his school when he had his first encounter with Marines – an encounter he said changed the direction of his life and led him to switch his plans from “aiming high” to joining “The Few, The Proud.”

“They (Marine recruiters) came into my classroom during a PT (physical training) session, and they pretty much smoked us,” he said. “I enjoyed that toughness that the Marine Corps has.”

McCall enlisted in May 2003 with an open contract, meaning he could receive any job he met the requirements for and the Marine Corps needed. As fate would have it, he landed in an occupation he now intends to spend the rest of his life doing.

“I love to cook, I love food, love cooking, love it,” he said. “The Marine Corps has been a great way for me to start out and get a basis for what I want to do with my life.”

McCall is currently attached to the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of responsibility as a theater reserve and crisis response force. Throughout the month of May, McCall will be one of over 12,000 participants.

As part of CLB 24, McCall’s customers are Marines tasked with the important, but sometimes underappreciated, mission of keeping the 24th MEU in a constant state of logistics readiness.

In essence, this means that McCall is charged with feeding the Marines of the CLB who in turn supply more than 1,000 Marines of the 24th MEU currently ashore in support of Eager Lion 12 with essentials such as fuel, water and ammunition, said Captain Chris Smith, the command element assistant logistics officer with the 24th MEU.

McCall said at the end of his current enlistment he intends to use his Montgomery G.I. Bill to attend a culinary arts school.