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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center

"Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command"

Twentynine Palms, California
What I've Learned: Christopher Mack

By Lance Cpl. Christian Lopez | Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms | October 31, 2017

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> Home for me is in Long Island, New York. I grew up in a town called Merrick, it was a relaxing life. I can remember always being outside and playing football or riding my bike around with friends, just the typical kid stuff.

> When I turned 15, I realized I was the fat kid, and I just told myself “It’s time to change!” So I started running and slowly easing into going to the gym to get in better shape.

> After graduating high school, I eventually went to Nassau County Community College just to get an undergrad. I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do so I took my general classes to get those out of the way. College wasn’t for me so I dropped out and pursued the military instead.

> After I completed recruit training, MCT and my MOS school, I got stationed here in the Desert Oasis of Twentynine Palms. My original unit was Combat Logistics Company-13, but I was placed in the fleet assistance program to Headquarters Battalion which is where I’ve been for the past 3 and a half years. While in this battalion I have become one of the [Noncommissioned Officer’s] who ran the mailroom.

> Being in the Marine Corps you meet so many different people from all walks of life and typically the youngest of Marines are very immature, but because they are Marines I get to see them age more rapidly than regular people and I find that interesting.

> After being in the Marine Corps I’m really excited to get out and go back to college. I intend to go for my PHD in psychology. I’d prefer to be a psychologist who works with kids because when my parents were going through their divorce, my mom took me to one just to make sure I was good and that stands out as one of the most positive and impactful experiences in my life.

> The hardest part about transitioning back to civilian life will be dealing with the finances. The Marine Corps has helped me plan out a lot of my money with the meal card and staying in the barracks, so I’ll have to get used to cooking my own food and paying my own rent. One thing the Corps has helped me with is time management and I know that will help me transition successfully because I have a plan for what I want to do.

> My biggest role models in the Marine Corps would definitely be Gunnery Sgt. Jessica King and Staff Sgt. Nytayia Jamison. Gunny King is the Commanding General’s aid, so she’s his right hand woman and I’ve never seen her be unprofessional or lose composure for even a split second and the same goes for Staff Sgt. Jamison. As the S-1 chief, and my Marine Corps mother, she protects me everywhere I go, even though she’s in Drill Instructor school right now.

> I’m very excited to go back home, more specifically I’m more excited to go back to four seasons, instead of 365 days of summer.

> One thing I really enjoy is tattoos. I enjoy them so much because I love art. Back in high school I had this idea to just get completely covered. Now I’m realizing how much money it is so it’s going to take some time, but I definitely always had a passion for art. I got my first tattoo, a peace sign, at 17.

> The best words of advice I’ve received during my career in the Corps was something I actually used to say and that’s “Everything makes sense when you don’t think about it.” That’s basically the Marine Corps. “Go clean the ceiling,” makes sense if you don’t think about it because some general could be coming to inspect. Just do it now even if it doesn’t make any sense because I can assure you it will at the end of the day.

> If I could go back to recruit Mack standing on those yellow footprints, or any junior Marines, I would say, “It’ll all work out in the end, just deal with it.”
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