CAMP LEATHERNECK, HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN --
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'” One Marine answers that question every day through his actions and motivation to succeed.
Chicago native Sgt. Quinton King deployed to Afghanistan for the first time with a reputation he says is driven by his determination to set the example and uphold the traditions of the Marine Corps. He works tirelessly to take care of his Marines and serve as a role model. Born and raised on the west side of the Windy City, King said he has always had a desire to excel. He grew up the youngest of four brothers, which gave him plenty of role models.
His oldest brother taught him to be a loving husband and father for his family, according to King. His other brothers helped him realize if he wanted to provide for more than just himself, he had to further his education and get a steady job.
“Growing up and watching my brothers succeed in life gave me a stepping stone to do the same,” said the adjutant non-commissioned officer in charge for the administration section, 2nd Marine Division (Forward). “So I worked hard even after high school to make sure I did just that.”
After graduating from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff with a degree in computer science, some may think his thirst for a better life would be quenched, but instead it left him wanting more.
King decided the Marine Corps would be his next checkpoint on the road to success. He said his one of his brothers who is also a Marine played a big influence in his decision to join.
“I saw how disciplined and motivated he always was, and I wanted to be a part of that,” explained King.
Two and a half years later, King finds himself thousands of miles away from home serving his country and caring for the Marines under him.
“He always makes sure we’re doing well both professionally and personally,” said Lance Cpl. Pamela Nevares, a Pasadena, Calif., native and one of King’s Marines. “If we have a problem, we can always go to him and trust that we’re taken care of.”
King uses several methods to make sure his Marines are taken care of. He makes sure his Marines are completing at least one Marine Corps Institute course a week, which educates them and helps them get promoted. He also continually trains them in Marine Corps Martial Arts and provides cross-training for his position to ensure the mission can still be accomplished in his absence.
“I think this (deployment) will be an exciting experience,” mentioned the loving husband and father of two. “But nothing changes what I expect from my Marines. I expect them to give me back what I give them, and that’s 110 percent.”
He says it’s what his mentors always expected of him and what helped him get where he is today. King also humbly admits earning meritorious promotions three times, earning Marine of the quarter in 2010 for his unit, and securing his Marine Corps Martial Arts black belt instructor tab. King uses these experiences and his knowledge to help his Marines reach the same achievements he worked hard for.
“King is all about taking care of Marines,” said Jackson, Miss., native Gunnery Sgt. Christopher McDougal, the operations and manpower chief for the administration section, 2nd Marine Division (Forward), and one of King’s mentors. “He does everything for the Marines and not himself. That represents our section very well.”
So, whether it’s for his country, family or the Marines to the left and right of him, King will continue to answer the late Dr. King’s question one day at a time.
“I push forward for my family and for my Marines,” said King. “As long as they’re pushing forward with me, I will never give up. I will always make sure mission accomplishment and my Marines are good. That will always be first-hand and most important to me.”