Military service is an obligation to which I am honored to dedicate myself. My sense of duty is driven by my commitment to my country, my fellow Marines, and to myself. I have narrowed down three significant ideas about what my role in the military means to me: the honor to mentor others, the hope to influence others, and helping others gain the skills to succeed in the military. The common theme from these three ideas is that I am in the military not simply to fulfill my aspirations, but that I am in the military to help others fulfill their aspirations. Being in the military means giving back what the military gives to me.

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It is my honor to mentor other Marines. I take my obligation as a mentor in the same way that a mother looks after her children—selflessly. I do not aim to make friends with my Marines. Rather, I aim to set an example for my Marines by modeling appropriate conduct at all times. Furthermore, I try to establish interpersonal connections with my Marines by sharing my experiences. I have found that I am constantly learning throughout my twelve-year journey in the military. Therefore, I hope to impart my hard-earned lessons so that other Marines can build upon my life experiences. I have had multiple deployments, two tours as a drill instructor, and I have been a tour officer at candidate school. I feel that I have valuable experiences which have taken time to accumulate—it is my honor to offer these experiences as stepping stones for other Marines.

It is my hope that my influence has helped to impart confidence, skill, and the ability to embrace fear in my Marines. I hope that my Marines understand that confidence and skill go hand-in-hand. Once one approaches tasks with confidence, skill is built. Both confidence and skill are the necessary building blocks for the ability to embrace fear. The reason that it is important to embrace fear is that fear is either an imaginary insecurity, or a real one. In both cases, it is insecurity which drives fear to rule one’s actions and behaviors. Therefore, with confidence and skill, the insecurity which drives fear is overcome. This is an essential skill for both military and life successes.

My ultimate goal is to help others succeed in their military service. It is important to me that my Marines implement my hard-learned lessons so that they can improve their service by learning from my examples. I specifically impart to my Marines that they can accomplish great things; I have accomplished great things. Twelve years ago, I could not have imagined the way that becoming a Marine would forever reroute my life. Being a Marine has given me a purpose—one which I have been honored to fulfill. As a woman, being a Marine is not an “average” career. However, after twelve years of service I have fully embraced the spirit of Semper Fidelis as my main purpose in life. I proudly play an essential role in the progression of women in the military; this role has been immensely satisfying for me.

I am proud to be a mentor for the few. Each of my Marines’ successes affect me greater than if the successes are my own. Like a mother, I take more pride in the achievements of my Marines than I do in my own achievements. I am defined by my role in the military. Therefore, for me, military service means selflessly giving back to the military what it has given me: honor, hope, and success.