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Lance Cpl. Joshua Perez, administration clerk, Headquarters Battalion, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., always knew he would join the military, but it was his drive to challenge himself that led him to join the world's Force in Readiness.

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What I’ve Learned: Joshua Perez

21 Nov 2017 | Cpl. Dave Flores Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

> I was raised in the suburbs of Orlando, Florida. I tried to keep my head on straight and have the right group of friends, so I wasn’t a bad kid. Two of the big sports I played were wrestling and powerlifting in high school, to keep myself active. I did boxing my freshman year, and shortly afterwards realized it wasn’t for me.

> Growing up, I was definitely a Disney kid; I went there all the time with my family. Once I got older, I spent a lot more of my time on the beach.

> I started working at McDonalds after I finished high school. I didn’t plan on working there my whole life, so I looked into joining the military. I first had my eyes set on the Navy, but changed my mind to the Marines so that I could give myself a challenge.

> I didn’t have any family members who were a part of the Marine Corps, so I decided to become the first one to earn the title.

> I originally signed as an infantry contract with one of my best friends. We were going to do the buddy system, but he backed out. While I was at infantry school, I separated my shoulder and was re-classed to administration.

> That was the first serious injury that I have ever had in my life, but I felt like I handled it pretty well actually. We dropped packs and I realized that my shoulder wasn’t really doing much. When I asked the Doc to check it out, sure enough, I had ripped it right out of socket.

> Now that I am in the Marine Corps, I have become a lot more active. I do still enjoy things like anime and video games, but I tend to hit the gym more now.

>I have been in the Corps for about two years now and it has been interesting to say the least. I would like to stay in the military, but I would like to join the Navy so I can be on boat and travel the world.

> Over the summer, I was able to work with the British Royal Forces, which was really interesting. They are a lot different from us, but we are all working towards the same goal by defending our countries.

> If and when I get out of the Marine Corps, I plan on going back to college and getting an education.

> I think working with my hands on something like welding could be a possible future for me. When I was a kid, I was always building things, from Legos to Minecraft. Creating was something that always sparked my interest.

> My motto has always been to go with the flow and try to stay flexible with anything that happens. That has helped me in my time in the Marines Corps, especially with things that can always happen.

> If there was something that I could tell myself before I joined the Corps, it would be to never skip leg day. The hikes can be rough, but they are a workout. Just in general, always staying in shape in the Marines is important because of how active our lives are.

> My advice for junior Marines is to stay away from negative people. They may seem laid back at first, but you don’t want them to bring you down. Being seen with the wrong crowd can make people group you in with that crowd.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms