Twentynine Palms -- What I’ve Learned: Lisandro Perez
Lance Corporal, Tank Crewman, 1st Tank Battalion
Lance Cpl. Lisandro Perez made the decision to join the Marine Corps as a tank crewman to put his life on a better path. Perez graduated Tank Commander’s course as a Lance Corporal and sets the example by being a role model for his son and younger siblings.
>I was born in The Bronx, New York and grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Growing up in those two cities made me have thick skin and not be a pushover.
>I have two sisters and two brothers. My older brother joined the Army infantry.
>I have always been a competitive person and they say the Marine Corps is better than the Army, so I wanted to one-up my older brother and join the Marines.
>I played a lot of sports growing up such as baseball, wrestling, track, cross country, and football. My favorite baseball team is the Yankees, my second is the Phillies.
>I started snowboarding when I got to California. Some of my buddies took me to Big Bear [California] and I fell in love with it.
>I love that adrenaline rush when you’re speeding downhill or learning new tricks. Snowboarding was something different for me and I like trying new things all the time.
>Sports and the Marine Corps go hand in hand because it’s all about being competitive.
>If I’m able to do something that someone else can’t, I’m one-upping them. When I go snowboarding with the guys and I do a trick that they can’t do, it pushes everyone to get better. >With tanking, knowledge is key. If I have more knowledge than other Marines, I want to train them so they can be like me or better than me.
>Joining changed me a lot. The Marine Corps helped me stay out of trouble. I didn’t want to go down a road where I would make stupid decisions.
> I have a two-year-old son. I want my son to look up to me as a good role model. There were a lot of bad paths I could have taken growing up. The Marine Corps gave me a chance to take a better path.
>When I told my family I was joining, they thought I was joking around at first. When I actually started working out with the recruiters it kind of shocked them. I try to keep a great relationship with my family by Facetiming them and talking to them whenever I can.
>When I joined a lot of people in my family- especially the kids, looked up to me. I tell them focus on school but at the end of the day they can always join the military. I think it inspires the younger siblings in my family.
>Some of the best experiences in the Marine Corps have been all the field operations I’ve been to. Not everybody has the opportunity to be inside a tank and operate it low ground, shoot 120mm rounds or fire machine guns.
>I graduated Tank Commander’s Course as a Lance Corporal and I have the possibility of being a tank commander sometime soon. Normally being a tank commander is reserved for sergeants so it’s good to have that knowledge.
>I’ve been thinking about re-enlisting, but if I get out I would like to go to school for criminal justice or attend the police force in New York. If I join the police force for six years, I’ll be able to try out for S.W.A.T. The challenge is appealing and I would like the adrenaline.
>As tankers, our pistol is our secondary weapon. It’s important to be comfortable with my sidearm so when the time comes, I can operate it properly. What I’ve learned in the Marine Corps will help me when I’m in the police force.
>One of the most important things I’ve learned in the Marine Corps is the lifestyle. Physical fitness, weapons knowledge, and professional traits are some things that I will always keep with me.