AT SEA, USS Ashland (LSD 48) -- U.S. Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf once said, “Do what is right, not what you think the high headquarters wants or what you think will make you look good.” Though Schwarzkopf was quoted saying that statement years ago, if you were to talk to some of the Marines in 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment currently attached, through the Unit Deployment Program, to 3rd Marine Division, III Marine Expeditionary Force about Cpl. Ryan Albanese, they wouldn’t hesitate to tell you he possesses the leadership traits described in that statement.
Albanese came into the Marines Corps in 2013. Following his graduation from the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in Parris Island, South Carolina and School of Infantry East in North Carolina, he then headed to Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment.
He is now currently embarked aboard the forward-deployed Whidbey Island Class dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) as an infantry squad leader with Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, based out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, in support of exercise Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training. CARAT is a series of annual, bilateral maritime exercises between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the armed forces of nine partner nations to include Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Timor-Leste.
“Throughout my whole life, I’ve always been patriotic, when 9-11[terrorist attack on World trade centers] happened, being from New Jersey and only 20 minutes away from the attack, I had smoke from the buildings blowing over my house,” said Cpl. Ryan Albanese, “So when the war on terror began I just wanted to serve my country.”
Albanese has served his country for the last three years now . His job as squad leader means he is responsible for making sure the Marines under his charge are in peak physical condition, are proficient in infantry tactics and knowledge, while also mentoring them into becoming well rounded Marines.
“I was with the platoon for a while before he came back from the Advanced Infantry Course and my predecessors and other Marines in the company were telling me you need to be excited to meet this guy; he’s going to be a good squad leader,” said 1st Lt. Michael Noblit, a platoon commander with the company.
The New Jersey native has been able to maintain that warrior image of the Marine Corps, while also providing care to his junior Marines whenever needed.
“He cares about his Marines and he’s very knowledgeable about infantry tactics,” said Lance Cpl. Frank Mena, a team leader with the company. “He knows just about everything a grunt is supposed to know.”
Albanese is regarded as being a great Marine by junior and senior Marines alike. With his dedication to serving his country he has given both enlisted service members and officers a reason to place their trust in him both on and off the battlefield.
“In a post war Marine Corps where we have a lot of young leaders who haven’t had combat experience, it’s easier for them to forget the gravity of their job, but he has that perception and understanding needed as a squad leader,” said Noblit. “Working with Marines like Albanese makes my job worth it at the end of the day.”