MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Some people may have a hard time trying to combine their strong sense of patriotism, love of sports and a hobby of shooting guns into something productive.
Blairsville, Ga., native, Pfc. Mark W. Marshall was able to turn his passions into a career.
“Joining the Marine Corps is something I always wanted to do since I was a kid,” Marshall said. “My grandfather was a sergeant major in the Army and my father was a captain in the Marine Corps. It’s in my blood.”
Marshall, now a company clerk for Headquarters and Service Company, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, grew up embedded with a strong sense of patriotism and decided he wanted to fight for his country.
“I chose infantry,” he said. “I wanted to deploy around the world. I wanted to fight.”
Marshall began with Small Craft Company where his unit deployed to Afghanistan attached to 1st Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment. While there they performed combat operations including cordon and searches, and foot and vehicle patrols.
Marshall is resolute in his dedication to the Marine Corps and hopes to use his experience to teach other Marines.
“I would like to be an instructor at the School of Infantry where I would be able to sharpen the combat skills of new Marines,” Marshall said. “Above all, I really enjoy the Marine Corps lifestyle and want to share my knowledge.”
Marshall is drawn to the team atmosphere the Marine Corps provides.
He graduated from Towns County High School in 2000 where he played basketball and was the captain of the football team his senior year and baseball team his junior and senior years.
He also played baseball for North Georgia State University where he was studying for a degree in criminal justice.
While in college he decided he wanted to do more with his life.
Now that Marshall is fully integrated into the Marine Corps way of life, he is attending a local community college where he continues studying criminal justice.
Marshall also spends most of his free time with his wife Brooke and his 6-month-old daughter, Gracey.
When he has a moment to spare he enjoys working on his truck, going to the shooting range, and hunting turkey and deer.
Marshall hasn’t decided whether or not he would reenlist.
“It’s something that I will discuss with my family,” he said. “My wife plans to join the police academy in a few months, so I’m planning around that. I’ve also been looking into other options.”
Other options include trying out for a Special Weapons and Tactics team in Atlanta or the Georgia Highway Patrol where Marshall can again attempt to combine his passions with his career.