She closed one eye, took aim and squeezed the trigger. In one powerful instant, Hallie Tremaine Balkin ’10 knew how it feels when a Marine fires an M4 carbine.
Balkin ’10 has been working for the U.S. Marine Corps for the past several months as Assistant Counsel with the United States Marine Corps System Command (MCSC) in the Washington, D.C. area.
Recently, Balkin got to handle and fire an M4 rifle - one of the most important tools of the trade for Marines in combat. She and several colleagues were at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Virginia, participating in a rare type of training exercise for civilian Marine Corps employees. The idea was to give them a taste of what combat is like for Marines.
“Being able to participate in a simulated force environment allowed me to better understand what our Marines endure in combat situations,” Balkin says. “As an attorney for the U.S. Marine Corps, experiencing a mere glimpse of combat situations many Marines face on a regular basis when deployed further bolstered why it is imperative to procure the safest equipment to keep our Marines out of harm's way.”
Balkin says that when the training was over she could definitely feel the effects of firing the sophisticated carbine.
“I held the M4 rifle steady for four ten-minute periods,” she says. “I was particularly amazed at how sore my arms were for several days after!”
Balkin’s husband, Alexander Balkin ’11 is also a TJSL alum and was recently hired at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in Washington, D.C., as a Program Analyst in the Division of Planning and Budget, Internal Control and Planning Team.