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Lance Cpl. Aaron “Wilbo” Williams, field artillery cannoneer, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, is a history buff who enjoys hunting, auto mechanics and entertaining his fellow Marines with storytelling. (Official Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Connor Hancock/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Connor Hancock

What I’ve Learned: Lance Cpl. Aaron “Wilbo” Williams

19 Dec 2016 | Cpl. Connor Hancock Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

> Each generation of my family has served since the Revolutionary War. I knew I wanted to join the military at a young age. I joined the Young Marines in 7th grade and later participated in [Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps] before joining the Marine Corps. I wanted to become a warrior and protect my family. They were my biggest motivation for joining.

>I became an artilleryman, because I wanted to have a role in combat support. So far, I’ve been able to go to Japan and Thailand. Getting to shoot alongside allies like the Thai Marines was a rewarding experience. I’m excited for our next training deployment in Australia.

>I’m a big historian. I love studying the past because there is so much you can learn from it. My favorite era to study is the [American Civil War]. When I’m home I also do Civil War reenactments.

>Lt. Gen. “Stonewall” Jackson is my favorite general in history because he did many great things with small numbers. I admire him because of his ability to inspire his troops and maintain moral standards.

>We still use tactics from history’s greatest and that’s why I believe history is still relevant. I also enjoy reading a lot about Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. I’m keeping my options open to become a history professor at some point in the future.

>I stay away from drinking and enjoy running and physical training because I like to stay productive.

>I want to stay in the military for as long as I can. I love artillery; it’s a hard job and can take a toll on your body but it’s one of the most motivating jobs in the Marine Corps. I’m still keeping an open mind to other jobs in the Marine Corps.

>I have had some memorable experiences in the Marine Corps so far. It’s all about the camaraderie and the rest of the guys. It makes for good moments. We know the right times to joke around and the right times to focus and get the mission done.

>Deployments have offered me the most remarkable experiences. Earlier this year we were in Korea deep in the snow. It was tough but we pulled through, shot rounds and accomplished our objective. Sometimes we get mad at each other, then we love each other and that’s family.

>I’ve also had some great moments with the guys during liberty. One that comes to mind is when our gun team went cliff diving in Okinawa. The great weather and landscape makes it a beautiful place.

>When I’m back home in North Carolina, I love to go shooting and hunting. I mainly hunt deer and small game. I got into the arms trade as a hobby as well. It forced me to learn more and more about different types of guns. I have various modern tactical shotguns and assault rifles, but my favorite gun to shoot is my 1851 Confederate Navy .44 caliber black powder revolver.

>I’m also passionate about working on cars. I have two 1966 Ford Mustangs. I’m in the process of customizing one and I plan on keeping the other in its original condition.

>I try to balance military life with my family life, because I’m a big family man. I have a 2-year-old sister back home and it kills me that I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like to. My family is very supportive and proud because they know I’m protecting them as a Marine.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms