When the recruiter asked me about switching to the Marine Corps Reserves, I did not initially jump on the opportunity. With prayerful consideration I made my choice and decided to make the switch. It was with that decision my bootcamp date moved to be much sooner. That date was today – ten years ago.
Much of my arrival to bootcamp was briefly summarized last year so I will not bore you with that again. From the beginning of my Marine Corps career until now, I can say with confidence that it has been a wild ride. Being in the reserves I have had all sorts of experiences on the Marine Corps side and the civilian side. Back in 2011 I remember attending college and considering the Marine Corps. The recruiters took me in with open arms since I came in willingly and without baggage. After attending bootcamp and Marine Combat Training I went to Ammunition School. From there I was “released” into the Marine Corps Reserve life.
I thought I had a good idea of what to expect in the reserves, but that wasn’t necessarily the case. My first experience with the reserves was me finding out (out of the blue) I had to report to drill the very next day. This was my first drill and, boy, what an impression! I missed my best friend’s brother’s wedding. Later on I missed vacation with my dad. I was unhappy with where I was, but I always try to make the best of a situation. So with those early experiences in mind I have made every effort to ensure the new Marines don’t have the same experience as me. It was not a fun time.
The civilian side of this wild ride took me back to camp (The Wilds) and back to school. Eventually I transitioned into a full-time job in Greenville and later transitioned to full-time contract work at camp; all while still serving in the Marines. From there I ended up at Walt Disney World and now in New Orleans. On the Marine side I went to my first desert exercise out in Twentynine Palms, CA and then to my first Marine training outside of the United States. It was awesome! Eventually I went to another overseas exercise and mobilized to Central America which helped me understand my Marine job even more and become a better Marine. God really orchestrated this wild ride.
So here I stand ten years later. Started from the bottom where I found out about drill the day before, and ended up working at the “top” where I have been able to expand my knowledge and advocate for the reserves. It has been cool to come up on the reserve side after all. The professional and personal development in the Marine Corps world and civilian world have made me better as a whole. It is my hope to make a difference in the Marine Corps Reserve world with the next ten years ahead.
Many thanks to all of those who have followed me on this journey and prayed along with me too. It has truly been a wild ride! Until next time: Be strong. Love God. Love others.