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Lance Cpl. Robert Aguilera, administration specialist, Installation Personnel Administration Specialist, Headquarters Battalion, was a cadet for three years with the Los Angeles Police Department. On his spare time he enjoys driving and working on vehicles. His older brother began introducing Aguilera to vehicles in high school and in the future he hopes to open his own car garage. (Official Marine Corps photo by Pfc. Levi Schultz/Released)

Photo by Pfc. Levi Schultz

What I’ve Learned: Robert Aguilera

1 May 2015 | Pfc. Levi Schultz Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

I grew up in a bad neighborhood in South LA but I never had any issues and managed to keep myself separated from any trouble.

Some of the activities I like to do include working on cars and taking the vehicles down to the track when I get a chance. In my spare time, I hang out with friends and I usually go and spend my weekends down in LA.

My interest in cars started in high school when I got my driver’s license at the age of 16.

My knowledge of cars came by working on them myself and hanging out at my brother’s friend’s auto shop. On the weekends I would go there and watch them work.

I don’t see myself as a car designer or anything like that, but I have a couple of goals such as opening up a garage and having a small business to go along with my career.

I was more interested in cars for their looks at first, but now the handling and performance is what draws me to them.
Everything in a good car just fits together; the way it looks inside and out, how comfortable it is and how it performs.
Recently I sold my 2014 Scion FR-S. It was a [coupe] but it had four-passenger seating, so the people in the back would be uncomfortable.

My dream cars aren’t impossible, million-dollar vehicles. The car I want to own one day is an Audi RS7, a four-door Sedan with a big engine.

There are six of us in my family. Most of my siblings were a bit older, but I grew up having a closer relationship with my younger brother. I see myself as his mentor and want to make sure he does well.

My older brother shares my interest in cars and recently I have tried to introduce my younger brother to cars.

I’ve been in the Marine Corps for about a year and eight months.

The way Marines carry themselves and the customs and courtesies they practice are what brought me into the Corps.
Before I joined the Marine Corps, I was a police cadet in Los Angeles for three years which had me working alongside police officers and detectives.

I built a lot of good relationships with the officers who were former Marines.

I noticed the way they carried themselves and worked with each other was different than the other officers who had gone to college or different branch of service.

The former Marines were a factor in my decision to join the Marine Corps. I also wanted a military background before I joined law enforcement. Being a cadet was seeing other cadets in the city volunteering their time and putting themselves in danger for the community and I wanted to be a part of that.
When you join as a cadet you go through a six-month academy before you get assigned to a station to work under police officers.

All the work I did as a cadet gave me a small grasp on what law enforcement is like and I realized it’s a [career I want to pursue].

After I get out of the Marine Corps, I plan to join the LAPD.
I never felt forced to be a cadet, to like cars, or join the Marine Corps. They were all things that I became passionate about and I will never forget.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms