The United States Marine Corps. It’s known for creating the most disciplined soldiers for the most powerful military in the world. You can also take your pick from the Army, Navy and Air Force, but the Marines are on a whole different playing field.
Now imagine enlisting for this demanding branch, but then going to a college all at the same time. Those soldiers who enlist as reserves while being full-time students are probably the most courageous of them all. While you could be cramming for an organic chemistry midterm on Tuesday, you could be sent out on a seven-month long mission on Wednesday.
That’s the life for two marines that attend UCI. Joe Russo, 19, originally from Banning, Calif., is a chemistry major. His roommate, Sam Davis, 19, from Norco, Calif., is a civil engineering major. First of all, not two of the easiest majors, so why choose this path in life? These are two ambitious people.
Russo’s initial motivation was that the government would pay for his college tuition, but then felt that after Sept. 11, he had valuable skills that he could put to use in the military. Davis was planning on going to the Air Force, but was denied. Russo and Davis enlisted at different times, and completely independent of one another. The Marine Corps was the quickest way to begin their enlistment process.
‘Marines are the best. They’re the most disciplined. If I was going to do this, I wanted to go all out,’ Russo said.
For those people out there who are not too familiar with the enlistment process, it starts out with the dreaded basic training, also known as boot camp. The whole idea is to go in and come out as a whole different person. They rebuild you into a solider