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Lance Cpl. Simon Kellogg is an administrative specialist with Headquarters Battalion who grew up in a low-income area in Detroit. Since joining the Marine Corps, Kellogg has taken advantage of every opportunity and strived to become a better person and Marine.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

What I've Learned: Simon Kellogg

11 Apr 2014 | Lance Cpl. Kasey Peacock

• Everybody talks about Detroit not being the best city in the world. To me, it is great, and there is no place like home.

• Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of money. I can remember times where my family and I were reaching out to shelters for a place to stay. While it wasn’t always easy, I wouldn’t change a thing about the way I grew up because it made me the man I am today.

• My parents always stressed making good decisions and being a good person. Even though it was hard for us at times, I did my best to live my life that way. They always wanted the best for me, and I strived to achieve the best for myself. I had this stigma of needing to break away from this barrier and be successful.

• Before I joined, I remember the perception of Marines was that they were the best. I originally wanted to be an air traffic controller, but I ended up doing an open contract.
• Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island was a total change of pace for me. I remember appreciating the structure that the Marines offered me. For the first time, I didn’t have to be right about everything and I felt like I could listen, learn and follow orders.

• When I got orders to the Combat Center, I was excited. I wanted to come to the West Coast because I had never experienced this part of the world. For the first time, I felt like I was away from home and out of my comfort zone, and I had a world of opportunities open to me.

• Since I been out here I have done things I never thought I would have. I participated in the Marine Corps birthday run where I ran 29 miles, and I started taking college courses through the American Military University.

• In school, I have been studying history because I have always been interested in it. I eventually want get my associate's degree while I’m still here.

• A lot of Marines are not very motivated about working in the (Installation Personnel Administration Center), but I do everything I can to make the best of it. I look at it as there is a lot of knowledge I can get out of it to put towards my future. I do a lot of work with computers and meet a lot of different people which will ultimately help me in the future.

• My plan right now is to continue on with my associate’s degree and eventually go into Marine Security Guard duty. Once I complete that, I want to apply for the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program.

• If I get accepted for the MECEP program, I would love to pursue my degree at the University of Michigan. If I don’t get accepted, I plan to get out of the Marine Corps and continue with my education.

• Coming up in the Marine Corps, I have always heard that the best officers were enlisted first. It makes you a better-rounded officer.

• Since I have been here, I also became a part of the Marine Corps Base Color Guard. I have loved doing that because it gives me the opportunity to represent the Marine Corps at events.

• With work, extra-curricular stuff, and being the part of the color guard, that takes up a lot of my time. I always try and keep myself busy. I feel like if I’m not doing something, I’m missing out on opportunities.

• While I enjoy being out here in California, there is nothing better than that feeling of going home and letting people see that you are doing something good with your life. In my neighborhood back, home that is a rare thing.

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