JACKSONVILLE, N.C. --
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Aaron B. Crance, a team leader with Station Ordnance, Headquarters & Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station New River, is the MCAS New River Go-Getter of the month. Crance, a Lynchburg, Virginia native, enlisted as an aircraft ordnance technician in June of 2020.
Crance grew up in the rural areas of Lynchburg, Virginia, with aspirations to find work anywhere he could.
“Once I graduated high school I went straight into the workforce,” said Crance. “I worked every job I could from McDonald’s to being a warehouse worker, and eventually a machinist.”
After six years of working numerous blue-collar jobs, Crance decided that working in the Computer Numerical Control field wasn’t what he wanted to do going into the future. He was ready for something more fulfilling in his life.
“I've always had a fascination with the military because my grandfather had been an AA gunner in the Pacific, and whenever anyone was available my family and I would always go to military air shows,” said Crance. “Having that kind of history in my family has always resonated with me.”
“Crance has been a real asset to the Ordnance Department. As a lance corporal, he progressed and got the knowledge he needed to acquire qualifications that normally are required for a corporal..." Gunnery Sgt. Casey Vite, ordnance chief with Station Ordnance, H&HS, MCAS New River
With goals of finding the right organization that would serve as a new stepping stone in his life, Crance decided at the age of 24 years old that he would speak to a family friend who was a Marine Corps recruiter. In June 2020, he enlisted as an intelligence specialist and would soon run into an issue that would change the path of his Marine Corps career just as it started.
“While I was in boot camp, something had gotten shifted in my paperwork and I was pulled aside mid-way through and told that the job I had signed up for wasn’t available anymore,” said Crance. “They chose three options: aircrew, aviation mechanic and aviation ordnance.”
Two days later, Crance found out that he had been assigned to aviation ordnance.
After he completed basic training and made his way to MCAS New River, he began exploring a unique opportunity the Marine Corps had to offer, the All-Marine soccer team.
MCAS New River Go-Getter: Cpl. Aaron Crance
Photo by Cpl. Antonino Mazzamuto
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Aaron B. Crance, a team leader with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, Jacksonville, North Carolina, prepares a H122 aircraft rocket launcher for delivery on MCAS New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina, March 13, 2022. Crance, the recipient of the March MCAS New River Go-Getter award, enlisted into the Marine Corps in July of 2020 from Lynchburg, Virginia. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Antonino Mazzamuto)
“It’s been great, I've been able to focus on my job at work, and when I get done here, I get to go play soccer, practice and shoot for my goals outside of that,” said Crance. “It’s been a big reason why I have gotten to the point that I'm at now.”
As Crance manages work tasks and soccer training, he has persisted to show his value as a Marine and a hard worker to his command.
“Crance has been a real asset to the Ordnance Department. As a lance corporal, he progressed and got the knowledge he needed to acquire qualifications that normally are required for a corporal, and he's just recently been selected to go and try out for the All-Marine soccer team,” said Gunnery Sgt. Casey Vite, ordnance chief with Station Ordnance, H&HS, MCAS New River. “Whenever there's work to be done, he gets it done and never lets anything sit and wait.”
Vite has been working closely with Crance for the past year, learning from him and watching his career grow. Since working together, Crance has been promoted to corporal and continued leading and teaching Marines.
In February 2023, Crance was informed that he’d been selected to try out for the All-Marine soccer team, and will be flying to MCB Camp Pendleton, California to participate from March 23 to April 3, 2023.
“When he goes to Camp Pendleton for soccer tryouts, we're definitely going to miss his presence back at the shop,” said Vite. “I wish him the best of luck trying out and know he will represent our community well.”