AR RAMADI, Iraq -- The challenge of the military is a draw for many. For Lance Cpl. Troy White, the choice boiled down to which path would provide the biggest test. It didn’t take him long to come up with the right answer – The Marine Corps.
White, a rifleman with 2nd Platoon, Company L, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, wanted to prove to himself that he could handle the toughest and most rigorous military service in the United States.
“I picked it because of the challenge,” said the Owosso, Mich., native. “The Marine Corps is the hardest. I wanted to see if I could handle the hardest.”
After enlisting in the Marine Corps, White says he chose to become an infantryman for the same reason he picked the Marine Corps; he wanted to test himself by choosing the hardest path.
“I wanted to do infantry stuff since I was a little boy,” he said. “I think it was a good decision now. There is a lot more to being a rifleman than what I expected – it takes a lot more brains than people think.”
After graduating recruit training and the School of Infantry, White was made a team leader, almost immediately after being assigned to 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines and was soon told he was deploying to Iraq.
“It was difficult being made a team leader as soon as I got here,” said White. “It was the first time I had to take charge and use my leadership skills. I think I learned pretty quickly.
“As for Iraq, I knew it was coming. Before I signed up, I knew I was going to Iraq. I was excited when we got the order. It was going to be something unknown, a new experience for me.”
Once in Iraq, White found there is a lot more to war than the old adage of “beans, bullets and bandages.”
“The war we are doing now is more mental,” he said. “If we just went around and blew everything up, we wouldn’t win. It’s hard to get the results we want because it’s hard to win the trust of the people here. But, I still don’t think it’s as bad as people back home think it is. We are going to win this eventually; it’s just going to take time.”
Although different than what he expected, White is still enjoying his first deployment and is grateful for the opportunities the Marine Corps has given him.
“So far, everything has felt like our training,” he said. “When we are patrolling through the city, we know what to do. I signed up to do this. Coming here is what I wanted to do and I am excited and ready to do it.”