It is difficult to describe the Marine Corps and Marine Corps culture to people unfamiliar with it. Marines, first of all, are a unique bunch when compared to other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. We are called Devil Dogs, Jarheads, Leathernecks, and crazy. No matter what someone chooses to call us, we are family. The brotherhood (and sisterhood – from this point forward I’m sticking with saying brotherhood for simplicity sake) is unlike any bond I have experienced. There are similarities and differences between individual Marines, but at the end of the day we take care of each other and, what we often say, look out for our own. The “war stories” we share are seldom about when all went well but rather when all went wrong. It’s those times of difficulty and suffering together that creates the unique bond between Marines. I love the Marine Corps for the greater good but more so for that bond; the brotherhood.
Back in January I had the privilege of attending the Sergeants School in Camp Lejeune for two weeks. It was at this school I established and reestablished connections with Marines across the nation. The Marine Corps is a small world. The Sergeants School was not quite what I expected (they recently changed the curriculum), but it was still worthwhile in helping me develop my leadership skills. During this time I was able to see my family and visit with them a little bit. Come to find out I went to Morocco with some of these Marines too! Our class was broken down into small groups which resulted in our small group naturally being the greatest. Shout out to MSgt (MGuns Select) Flaherty for having the best group and teaching us valuable lessons along the way. Our group did not intend to be the best for any competitions, but somehow we ended up winning the Commander’s Cup at the end of the school. Not sure how that happened.
Attending Sergeants School made me eligible for promotion to Staff Sergeant (SSgt) this Fiscal Year. It is with great pleasure that I can say that I was selected to the rank of SSgt this year! My actual promotion date has not yet been set, but I have been selected and will be waiting anxiously for that date to be released. I am very blessed to have been selected. My goal has always been to make it to SSgt and now that goal has been met. So now what? I’ve thought about going the Warrant Officer route so I can become an Ammo Officer. It wasn’t until this past drill that it was suggested I try and become a First Sergeant. Uh, okay. Talk about being blindsided with that idea. I have never thought of becoming a First Sergeant in my life. There were two individuals on two separate occasions unrelated that told me I would make a good First Sergeant. Would I though? The idea of being a First Sergeant sounds a bit far-fetched which means I have to pray about it and get more advice. We shall see!
Another exciting thing that happened last month was my snowboarding trip to Colorado! It was nothing short of amazing. I met up with my old pal Titus and his family. We went to Copper Mountain and snowboarded for four days straight! It was an exhausting trip, but it was an exciting trip. Since we were boarding for four days it was worth it for me to buy a season pass using the military discount because the fourth day ended up being free. Talk about a deal! Pictures do not do the mountains justice, but I did take pictures.
After snowboarding I went to work for a week then headed straight back to the Marine Corps for an extended drill weekend in the field. It was wet and cold. It’s funny how the field usually brings rain. It’s like some sort of magical spell that Samuel Nicholas left us with or something. It is moments like a wet and cold field drill that brings Marines together and creates lasting memories. I am a Platoon Sergeant in charge of the accountability and well being of Marines. This past drill was a great time because we actually got to be together longer than a few hours so I could get to know the Marines better. My Marines are a bunch of weirdos but they’re my weirdos and I can’t help but love their weirdness. It goes back to the brotherhood. We are family.
Work has been keeping me very busy. After a long day of work I am usually finding myself asleep around 9pm just to wake up and do it all again. I am really excited to be a building owner at Disney’s Pop Century Resort! As a building owner I am in charge of a building in the 50s section of the resort. My responsibilities include cleanliness of the entire building including its 288 rooms. It’s a big responsibility as I am also in charge of Housekeepers and making sure they are okay and that their quality of work meets the Disney standard. Big responsibility! If you’re ever visiting Disney or staying at my resort then just let me know! I would love to meet up with you.
April is quickly approaching. We do not have drill in April so I will be able to spend more time at Disney developing my skills and my Cast. This year I am not required to go on AT for two weeks, but I am able to since it comes from a different pot of money. Not sure what I will do, but if there is an AT available I might jump on it. Stepping away from the civilian world and getting together with the Marines is always a mix of emotions and stress. I love the Marines though and in the end it is always worth stepping away from the civilian side. As a leader of Marines, I cherish the time with my Marines because I now have more opportunities to develop them into what they have potential to be. It is a privilege to be a part of that.
I hate when I get too busy and too lazy to write because then you all get long posts like these. Ain’t nobody got time for that! To those who made it to this point, thank you. Hope it was everything you dreamed. Thank you to those who pray for me. Thank you to those who support me. If you’re ever in the Orlando area then let me know! Until next time: Be strong. Love God. Love others.