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Master Gunnery Sgt. Fredrick Johnson, senior enlisted advisor, G-1 Manpower, has been in the Marine Corps for 27 years and plans on retiring when he hits 30. After retiring he plans on become a funeral home director. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Thomas Mudd)

Photo by Cpl. Thomas Mudd

What I’ve Learned: Fredrick Jackson

12 Apr 2017 | Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Master Gunnery Sgt., senior enlisted advisor, G-1 Manpower
Hometown: Dallas, Texas

>Growing up I loved to build and drive around go-karts. I started to really get into it when my best friend made one out of a broken lawn mower.

>We spent a lot of time finding parts and repairing the karts. My friend and I would go around the community on trash day to find any parts that had been thrown out. We would take wheels, tires, sprockets, even engines if they would still run.

>My friend and I built about four different karts and the best part was that people would ask us if we bought them and we would always respond with ‘No, we built them.’ It was great.

>When I was about 15 my dad had bought an [all-terrain vehicle] and we would all take turns riding that. I loved doing that so much that I said when I grew up I was going to own one too. Now I own three of them.

>Another thing that I enjoy doing is racing remote control cars. I currently own one that goes 90 mph on the road. I used to race mine every weekend until I came here. Now I just need to find people to race with.

>I have always enjoyed the kind of brotherhood all the people had while they were racing. Even through all the trash talking everybody would do they’d be back next week to try again. It was a fun little competition.

>I wanted to be a funeral home director since I was a child. I remember hearing during funerals that the person did not look like they did before. I thought to myself that if I could remember exactly what they looked like I could make them like that again and I wanted to do that ever since.

>Joining the military was not my first plan. I decided to join because I gave all the money that I had saved up to become a funeral home director to help pay for my father’s surgeries.

>At first I was planning on only serving four years then getting out. As it turns out I really enjoyed the Marine Corps and decided to re-enlist. I kept re-enlisting from there and now I have been in for 27 years.

>Throughout my years in the military I have been on many funeral details and also been the person helping the families with the sad duty of burying their loved ones home.

>I tried to go to school while I was in but the career requires permits that change from state to state. When I retire in 2020 I am going to become a funeral home director in Texas and start my career as a funeral home director and embalmer.

>These duties actually helped me continue to want to be a funeral home director. I want to continue to help people in need.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms