MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. --
Cpl. Christian D. Martinez is a rifleman with 7th Marine Regiment. His former battalion was, the now deactivated, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 7th Marine Regiment, where he deployed twice with the unit’s sniper platoon.
>I joined because I was in school and not sure what to do. My uncle and my brother had served and it did a lot for them.
>Some things were rough during childhood, but things smoothed out. I grew up kind of poor, but when I moved in with my grandparents, they had money. I learned both the value of a dollar and what it could buy.
>During that time, I also played sports. I enjoyed the camaraderie, being able to rely on other people and see them on a regular basis.
>I was looking forward to learning how to do things step-by-step. I had all the tools, I just didn’t know how to use them.
>My time has been spent mostly with a sniper platoon. The last four years doing so, have built me a reputation of reliability, and so when 3/4 returned from this last deployment, my first sergeant was looking for someone to replace the current Chaplain’s assistant. It was more of an appointment rather than a volunteer opportunity, but I don’t regret it.
>I learned a lot form the experience, even if it was more of an office job. It’s good to change gears time to time.
>Working with the chaplain opened my eyes on a few things and taught me to be more accepting of certain people, learn to listen before you speak and realize that some people don’t want to speak but just to listen.
>I don’t like to do much; I usually lay low to save money. I like to work out. I’ve been doing extensive weightlifting and more recently have picked up CrossFit. A friend of mine is showing me the ways.
>I own a 2008 Subaru WRX STI. By reputation it’s a rally car, but mine has not been very modified. Once I get out and get a job that pays better, I would like to transform it into a rally car and take it out on the weekends.
>I’ll be getting out of the Marine Corps in November of this year. These five years have gone by pretty quick.
>I would like to go to school, but I’ve come to the realization that I need to save more money. I will be working in an oil field-related job for a little while. It’ll be good pay and hard hours.
>It’ll help me save up the money I need to get back to studying engineering, which was what I briefly did before joining the Marine Corps.
>I think I would like to stay in Texas once I get there. I can become a resident and try to go to school in that area. If not, I’ll go back to Louisiana. I’m not too picky as long as I know I’ll get a good education.
>I have deployed twice with the sniper platoon. The first time, I was a team radio operator and primary shooter. I maintained communications and if we made contact, which we did a few times, I would use the long rifle or start spotting.
>The second deployment was more toned back. We’d go in, occupy and then transfer forces.
>Being with that platoon really taught me “big boy rules.” It’s an environment where the guys are professionals and everyone has to try out to even be there. The bond is definitely a little tighter.
>I haven’t been the most important player in the platoon, but we all do our part, and I enjoy doing that.
>You’ve got to learn how to really talk with people and find what they find important. Learning the mentality of all of the different military occupational specialties is valuable.
>This one time in Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center Bridgeport Calif., I found myself attached to Marines and having to teach them how to quietly maneuver and how to accurately work on mortar systems.
>By doing that, I was able to expand their knowledge of the battlefield. Everything from snipers to mortarmen play into winning a battle.
>Victory favors the prepared. When you’re about to go conduct training in the morning, be sure to pack your bag the night before. Preparation and repetition are the keys to success.