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Cpl. Mark Noel, infantry rifleman, 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, is currently transitioning out of the Marine Corps. He hopes to move back to his home state of Ohio to work as a carpenter. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Levi Schultz/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Levi Schultz

What I've Learned: Mark Noel

21 Nov 2016 | Cpl. Levi Schultz Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

> I have a lot of family history in the military. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do once I graduated high school so I decided to join the military. It seemed like a great opportunity with good benefits. I felt like the Marine Corps was the best fit for me.

> I’ve been in the Corps just under four years now and I’m actually in the process of transitioning out. [The Marine Corps] really disciplines you; it teaches you good work ethic. You have to be a hard worker or you won’t make it.

> Being a rifleman makes you mentally strong. The physical training is hard. We have done hike after hike every week for the last few years. It gets you to the point where you think you can’t make it anymore but you just keep on pushing. One look at the Marines around you and it keeps you going.

> I’ve gone to Jordan on two different deployments and spent some time in Kuwait. While there, we bounced around a little bit and I’ve gotten to see some of the world. It makes you appreciate what we have here in the United States.

> I’m really into hunting, fishing and golfing when I have free time. Back home we hunt and fish a lot; it supplies probably 90 percent of our meat intake. We are pretty self-sustaining. It’s just a good way of life as you know where your food is coming from.

> I’ve been playing golf my whole life. I played while in school and then came out here and it was just something to do and a good relief from my work. Once in a while, I go with other Marines from different units. It’s a good way of meeting friends; when practicing on the range you meet new people and it’s a good way to build new relationships. I’ve also had the chance to play in many golf tournaments and military sponsored events.

> A lot of people support the military and it’s given me opportunities to participate in really nice golf clubs and fishing tournaments. There are a lot of golfing opportunities out here that have a seven handicap in Southern California and Northern California.

> Once I’ve finished serving, I’m going to go back to Ohio and fish for a couple of months. After that, I plan to start working as a carpenter.

> Both in the Marine Corps and outside the Corps, I’ve met people who have been positive role models for me and have helped me develop as a person. For those considering joining the Corps, my advice would be to make sure you’re physically fit, and mentally strong. If you’re going to join the infantry, definitely make sure you’re able to work with others. It’s not just the Marine Corps but in life in general, you will need to learn to be a team player.

> I’ve met a lot of good friends, good people, and have had a lot of fun experiences; I’ll definitely miss it.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms