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Twentynine Palms, California
Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command and Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center
Photo Information

Joel Jensen, lieutenant, Combat Center Fire Department, has been working aboard the base for approximately six years. During that time, he has dedicated his time to being a good father and working to help the people of the Combat Center. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Thomas Mudd/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Thomas Mudd

What I’ve Learned: Joel Jensen

30 Sep 2016 | Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Lieutenant, Combat Center Fire Department

Hometown: Hesperia, Calif.

>I grew up loving to ride dirt bikes; I would do it all the time. I received my first dirt bike when I was 4. I’d say it was a big part of my life growing up.

>I got hurt a few times growing up, so I don’t ride like I used to. When I started my career as a firefighter, work took precedence so I began to volunteer as a responder at different motorcycle events to help others who enjoy riding.

>I love being with my family. I became a father shortly after I began working here and it was one of the proudest moments of my life. I spend as much time with my family as I can.

>We go camping as often as possible and I even got my son into motorcycles. We try to go out into the desert once or twice a month and get in some riding time.

>There aren’t a lot of ways to describe the feeling of being a father. It’s just a great feeling. He’s only 6 but he keeps telling me how much he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. I’ll have to wait and see if he does.

>I’m the third generation firefighter in my family. My father and grandfather were both firefighters and I believe growing up around the vehicles and seeing those men proud of what they do made me want to become a firefighter as well.

>I was a member of the San Bernardino Fire Department before coming to the Combat Center. While I was there, we always worked very closely with the members of the Combat Center Fire Department.

>The drive from home to here is about 100 miles. It’s a little ways away but I don’t make the drive every day. I’m at work every two to three days then I get to stay home for two to three days. It all works out in the end and I enjoy working on base.

>I remember when I was offered the opportunity to join this team. I was asked to perform a physical agility test, where they make sure that you can perform as a firefighter. After that, I was offered the position to be part of this team.

>We are a family here. When you work with the same people for long enough they become like family, but the people here are especially close.

>One of the most memorable moments I’ve had working here was when I was promoted to lieutenant.

>Another time I remember was when we received the Green Cross Award. Firefighters receive this award when they respond to a car accident that require the “Jaws of Life” and have a life-or-death victim live through the accident. That was a great honor for me. It’s not an award that is given to people often, so the fact that I have received it is a great honor.
Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms