Fmr. 1st LT Joe Tate


“One of my most vivid memories during my deployment as a Marine in Southern Afghanistan was providing security for a fuel truck disabled by the detonation of an improvised explosive device (IED) near my outpost. Fuel trucks, similar to one my platoon provided over-watch for that day, supported our overall operations during Operation Enduring Freedom. I could not help thinking that the fuel leaking on the road from the damaged fuel container was sourced from the same place that powered our generators which charged our radios and provided light for my platoon in the evening. While maintaining security on this truck was a priority, it also meant that there was one less patrol in the fight to root out enemy fighters within our area of operations, which was a part of our primary mission.

My experiences gained as an infantry officer in part led to me graduate school, where I increased my understanding of how to use business and government to drive sustainability practices locally and nationally. I am honored to have the opportunity to apply my acquired skill sets by being a member of Operation Free and advocating for greater adoption of renewable energy sources critical to all dimensions relating to our national security.

There is no doubt that power generation through fossil fuels has advanced society significantly. However, reducing our consumption of fossil fuels through greater efficiencies and increased renewable energy not only affects military operations abroad by reducing budget costs and stress on logistics units operating in austere environments, but also mitigates negative environmental impacts from its use.”


Views expressed are his own. 

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