MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- A Decatur, Ala., native Lance Cpl. Jared A. MCCulloch joined the Marine Corps infantry to see the world. He awaited a challenging life where he could test himself and gain independence. He ended up with Small Craft Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division and soon found himself traveling all over the world, but not by marching with a pack. It was MCCulloch’s job to ride the waves.
From providing ship security in the Middle East to riding down Iraqi rivers on riverine crafts, the 22-year-old found the thrill he was seeking.
This is the job he chose to support the Global War on Terrorism. However, something happened unexpectedly that now prevents him from being with his fellow Marines who are deployed to Iraq.
“In 2003 I fell from a working dock and dislocated my shoulder,” MCCulloch explained. “I was able to deploy to Iraq in 2004, but when I returned I dislocated it again lifting weights and the problem escalated.”
Now MCCulloch awaits a surgery on his shoulder in July, which will take six to nine months to heal. He will finish his enlistment attached to Headquarters Battalion working as a mail clerk and helping out in the administration section. Though it’s not the job he chose, he still works just as hard to support the Marine Corps.
“I realize it’s a team effort,” he said.
The 2002 graduate of Decatur High School knows about teamwork. He played one year of football and four years of soccer as a goalie for the school team.
MCCulloch was outgoing and enjoyed playing sports and going to parties with his friends and family. He discovered a new type of family among his brothers and sisters in the Corps.
He grew to care for his fellow Marines at Small Craft Company as family and feels disappointed that he is not with his brothers who are currently deployed to fight the Global War on Terror.
“My boys are in Iraq right now,” he said. “I’ve been with most of them since boot camp. I know…it’s a tough job but we’ve been through a lot together, and I want to be out there.”
Though he is undeployable and unable to do the job he chose, he can easily remain positive when he reflects upon his life and all the opportunities the Marine Corps has provided him.
“I’ve done more than I ever could if I would have remained home,” MCCulloch said. “I’ve been to places like the Czech Republic, Greece and Sicily. Most people I went to high school with are still back home.
“I used to procrastinate with things in my life but now I see a change,” he said. “When I go to college, I will be able to accomplish my goals and still have fun.”
As the end of his Marine Corps career approaches, MCCulloch looks forward to the future. He plans on going to college to earn a degree in business.
“I want to start a small business or possibly do security, the Marine Corps provided me so many options,” he said.