Colonel John Bateman, U.S. Marine Corps Central Command liaison officer to U.S. Air Force Central, checks his emails and catches up on work. As the MARCENT liaison to AFCENT, Bateman must frequently check his emails and schedule to ensure he keeps all lines of communication open and available for his daily duties. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Blackwell/Released)
Colonel John Bateman, U.S. Marine Corps Central Command liaison officer to U.S. Air Force Central, talks to Senior Airman Holden Montgomery, AFCENT knowledge operations manager, as the day comes to an end. The MARCENT liaison officer here, he facilitates communications between the two commands. (U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Daniel Blackwell/Released)
United States Marine Corps Central Command, as well as U.S. Air Force Central, cooperate in numerous missions involving large quantities of manpower, time and resources. To do so, there must be communication and coordination, and Col. John Bateman, MARCENT liaison officer to AFCENT ensures the accurate and timely delivery of such information between the two services. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Daniel Blackwell/Released)
by Airman 1st Class Daniel Blackwell
20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
7/31/2012 - SHAW AIRFORCE BASE, S.C. -- Colonel John Bateman, U.S. Marine Corps Central Command Marine liaison officer to U.S. Air Forces Central, sits at a desk that for years has been home to many Marines.
The MARCENT liaison role Bateman currently fills, and that's always filled by a reservist serves a very important role for Team Shaw.
"What I do is very critical in making sure the U.S. Marine Corps and the Air Force stay on the same sheet of music," Bateman explained.
Duties as the MARCENT liaison ensures that open lines of communication and understanding are kept between Marine and Air Force efforts and endeavors at all time.
By doing this, the MARCENT liaison cuts down on duplicate or wasted efforts between Air Force and Marine Corps joint efforts, Bateman explained.
By attending briefings on AFCENT endeavors, Bateman gains insight on potential fiscal waste and opportunities to increase total force effectiveness. If such information is discovered or presented to him, Bateman notifies his command of the pending issue and also ensures the right people get in contact with one another, he explained.
By finding ways to work together more efficiently we can save money, resources and most importantly lives, Bateman concluded.
Bateman has been a Marine for 25 years, since the day he was commissioned on Dec. 12, 1986.
Bateman is an accomplished pilot who's logged over 1,800 hours of flight time flying military sorties, and over 3,700 hours flying commercial aircraft.
He's flown everything from commercial jets to the F-16 Fighting Falcon.
"I like flying the Harrier, but I really, really enjoyed flying the F-16," Bateman explained. "Flying is fun, whether it's in a Harrier or an F-16 I just love being in the air."
Prior to joining the USMC, Bateman graduated from Jacksonville University with a bachelors of science in aviation management.
"I've always known I've wanted to fly," Bateman said. "My father flew in World War II and inspired me to get to where I'm at today."
While in college Bateman discovered the opportunities offered through the military, and ultimately the USMC, through his peers.
"I had some friends in college who were in the Reserve Officer Training Corps who introduced me to the military," Bateman explained. "They inspired me to look into it and explore my options."
"I checked into the Navy and the Air Force," he continued. "But I've always had a soft spot for Marines and their philosophy of first to fight; it just fits my personality."
Even though Bateman is not an Airman, and our customs and courtesies, operating methods and focus may differ, he understands the importance and effectiveness joint operations possess in the overall mission success of MARCENT and AFCENT.
"I'm glad I got the opportunity to come to Shaw and fill this vital role," Bateman explained. "I've had no problems with anyone, everyone has been extremely courteous, helpful and most importantly professional."
This sentiment of respect, courtesy and professionalism extends itself to Bateman as well.
"Bateman is professional, outgoing and engaging," said Cletus Norris, AFCENT special assistant to A3.
"I enjoy the perspective he brings to AFCENT, and I admire his dedication in enhancing interaction between the USAF, USMC, and U.S. Central Command."
In addition to the outstanding individuals at Shaw, Bateman commends Shaw's leadership for the services and level of care offered to each Airman.
"Being on an Air Force base has always been a pleasure," Bateman explained. "The amenities are good the people I work with are excellent. I've thoroughly enjoyed it here at Shaw."
Bateman was especially impressed by Carolina Pines, the base lodging facilities, so much so he volunteered his praise on their behalf.
"They've been superb at not only taking care of me but any of my fellow Marines who've come on base for meetings and such," Bateman explained. "They're always top notch in accommodation and professionalism, I couldn't ask for more."
Bateman has been stationed here since June 10, 2011 and is scheduled to leave Aug. 3, 2012. Upon leaving Shaw, Bateman will return to his civilian airline job.
"I noticed throughout my career that the Air Force works really hard to maintain what I call a motto of mission first, people always," Bateman explained. "All you have to do is look around; you've got two pools, a bowling alley, a brand new BX and a skeet range."
"I just hope that Airmen appreciate what their leadership does, and has provided for them, and that they take full advantage of the outstanding facilities and equipment offered," Bateman concluded. "That's what I enjoy most about working with the Air Force is that they really are, no kidding, mission first, people always."