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When Fernandez lived in Pennsylvania his neighbor would teach him a few things about playing the guitar or skiing. In return, Fernandez taught him different things on eating right and bodybuilding. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

What I've Learned: Lance Cpl. Rafael Fernandez

12 Nov 2014 | Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd Marine Corps Forces Reserves

MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Lance Cpl. Rafael Fernandez, special intelligence system administrator, G-6 Communications and Information Systems

Age: 20

Hometown: Snydersville, Pennsylvania
Interview by Lance Cpl. Thomas Mudd

>Shooting is one thing that I enjoy. Just going out and shooting, you get to learn about different weapons and get a feel for what you like versus what other people like.

>Shooting is like bodybuilding in my opinion. Certain routines in weight lifting work better for some people. Not all guns work the same way but they all function in the end.

>I also like to volunteer. I joined the Marine Corps to help people and to experience things that I can tell a story about later.

>I get a sense of fulfillment from volunteering and people appreciate the time you put into it. You have to go to work every day, but giving your free time to do something for other people means a lot more.

>I am willing to do just about anything once. In high school I did cheerleading. After cheerleading I focused on getting the results I wanted. That is when I started bodybuilding.

>I like lifting weights because you can physically see the results of your work. Just by doing the simple thing of taking a weight and repeatedly lifting it.

>It is so simple and yet so complex, because when you get into what you have to eat or how you are lifting, it can change the results of your workout.

>It is also complex because you have to learn anatomy and your nutrition. You need to learn what is too much for your body to handle and what is too little.

>Certain routines work better for other people, so when I see a buddy of mine at the gym I’ll do his work out to see how well it works for me.

>I enjoy working arms at the gym more because you can see your results from the workout the fastest. You see your arm get swollen and feel it almost right after you finish.

>Getting a good workout makes the day seem better. If I don’t go or I get a bad workout in, I feel bad the rest of the day. I want to progress myself.

>I want to try being in a strength competition one day. Right now I am setting up my routine. After I get a good start up I want to go for it.

>The great thing about working out is that there is always competition. There will always be someone faster than me, stronger than me, and that’s a good thing. It makes me want to work harder to be better than them.

>Being a Marine is a lifestyle. Weight lifting is one of the ways that I continue to make myself a better Marine.

>Even though we are all Marines, we are still our own person. I am going to be my own person so I can reach my goals.

>I plan on re-enlisting and going into [Marine Security Guard] or lateral moving into an [Military Occupational Specialty] that is not Intelligence. However, when I get out of the Marine Corps I want to go into law enforcement.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms