Published Sunday, March 03, 2013

Military Notes: Johnson, LaPlant, Blinco in the news

From Staff Reports

closeup@newnan.com

Marine Corps PFC Rodney S. Johnson, son of Kathleen and Lloyd Johnson of Newnan, earned the title of United States Marine after graduating from recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.

For 13 weeks, Johnson stayed committed during some of the world’s most demanding entry level military training in order to be transformed from civilian to a Marine instilled with pride, discipline, and the core values of honor, courage and commitment. Training subjects included close-order drill, marksmanship with an M-16A4 rifle, physical fitness, martial arts, swimming, military history, customs and courtesies.

One week prior to graduation, Johnson endured the Crucible, a 54-hour test of recruits’ minds and bodies. Upon completion, recruits are presented the Marine Corps emblem and called Marines for the first time.

Johnson is a 2012 graduate of East Coweta High School.

Army Pfc. Crystal L. LaPlant has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, S.C.

During the nine weeks of training, the soldier studied the Army mission, history, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises.

She is the daughter of Sandra LaPlant of Evergreen, Ala., and Keith LaPlant of Newnan.

LaPlant graduated in 2012 from Hillcrest High School, Evergreen.

Army Spec. Sean P. Blinco has returned to the U.S. after being deployed overseas at a forward operating base to serve in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

Operation Enduring Freedom is the official name given to anti-terrorism military operations involving U.S. troops and allied coalition partners.

Active duty and reserve component members from all branches of the U.S. armed forces have been deployed to support the war against global terrorism outside the borders of the United States. U.S. troops serve in South, Southwest and Central Asia, the Arabian peninsula, the Horn of Africa, islands in the Pacific, and Europe.

Blinco is an infantryman assigned to the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. He has served in the military for two years.

He is the son of Brian Blinco of Newnan.

The specialist is a 2010 graduate of Newnan High School.

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