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Lance Cpl. Meagan Shihab, defense clerk, Defense Services Organization, Headquarters Battalion, enjoys reading fantasy and science fiction books. Her favorite series include the Lord of the Rings and the Inheritance series. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz

What I've Learned: Meagan Shihab

9 Sep 2015 | Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

Lance Cpl. Meagan Shihab, defense clerk, Defense Services Organization, Headquarters Battalion, has wanted to be Marine since she was young. Inspired by her mother, who served eight years in the Marine Corps, she ran more than three 3,000 miles while in the delayed entry program to prepare for recruit training.

I grew up in Victorville, Calif. It was a nice place to grow up. My mother was a Marine so all I really knew was the Marine Corps and by the time I was 17 I was on my way to boot camp.

Having a United States Marine in your life is definitely motivating and it was one of the biggest factors influencing me to join. She did really well in the Marine Corps and served eight years until she got out as a sergeant.

In my two years of being in the Marine Corps, I’ve definitely come to appreciate the rigidity and structure. I’m a ‘work hard, play hard type’ of person and the constant productive cycle my life is in is what makes me happy.

At first, I had interest in Marine Biology but I realized that wasn’t as financially stable of a career as the military.

Living in California and growing up here you spend a lot of the time at the beach. I was always fascinated by the life inside of it.

I used to have a paralyzing fear of sharks but through my research of Marine Biology I actually learned enough about them to not be afraid of them.

I always loved going to Sea World and seeing all the different creatures. The composition of their bodies and the way they adapt to such harsh environments is thrilling. There is no limit to what Mother Nature can create. You see that on land but in the water it’s even more incredible.

With the human body, we are one of the only creatures who can survive in the ocean and on land. There is no reason you can’t push your body to both of those limits.

When I went into the recruiting office I was 40 pounds over the weight requirement. I started a workout program where I would physically train twice every day. I ran over 3,000 miles in the six months I was in the delayed entry program.

I had a particular interest in body building before the Marine Corps until I injured my shoulder. The end goal is getting back into competition shape and I train for muscle strength not necessarily the look.

Seeing my own body and the way I could push it drove me to see how far I could go. I’m not naturally an athlete so fighting my way into athleticism has been a challenge I’ve enjoyed.

I really enjoy reading fantasy and science fiction books. Some of my favorite series include the Lord of the Rings and the Inheritance series.

When I was young, my mother was really into reading books and that got passed down to me. Reading a book is like watching television in your head. There’s no limit to what you can create in your imagination and there is no limit to the amount of knowledge you can find in books.

When I was six years old, my mother took me in for singing lessons. I continued with that for the next 10 years off and on. Singing was something that came naturally to me, unlike sports.

I’ve always wondered where singing and music came from. What makes music pleasing, comforting or saddening to people is really intriguing to me.

I’m looking to become a Marine security guard or a drill instructor during my Marine Corps career. As a drill instructor, I would like to help recruits form bonds and bring a platoon together.

I’ll get out of the Marine Corps when they kick me out. The Marine Corps is what I want to do and while being a civilian has its benefits, I don’t think I will ever stop wanting to be the kind of Marine that I am now. You wake up early, work hard, put on the uniform and wear it with pride. I can’t see myself living life as zealously as a civilian and would lose the passion that I have now.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms