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Cpl. Brandon Ruiz, landing support specialist, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, poses for a photograph aboard the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, Calif., Feb. 16, 2016. He plays outside linebacker for his unit's football team. He began playing football in the fourth grade and was drawn to the sense of brotherhood that came from working as a team. (Official Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz

What I've Learned: Brandon Ruiz

19 Feb 2016 | Story by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz 10th Marine Regiment

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Cpl. Brandon Ruiz, landing support specialist, Combat Logistics Battalion 7, plays outside linebacker for his unit’s football team. He began playing football in the fourth grade and was drawn to the sense of brotherhood that came from working as a team.

• I'm a really big sports fanatic and love to work out so that takes up all my time. Sports seasons are held throughout the year, so there is always something to keep me busy. Football, basketball and baseball are my favorites.

As a landing support specialist I work in logistics for my unit. We could be compared to a shipping service and are capable of loading and unloading ships, aircraft and vehicles.

• Our unit team, combined with Combat Logistics Company 13, won against the other teams on base and had the opportunity to play in the ‘Best of the West,’ against a team from [Marine Corps Base Camp] Pendleton last year.

• In a way, football can be a lot like the Marine Corps. It’s like being a part of a big team. When times are tough, they are tough for everyone and it builds relationships. When you’re going through the ‘ups’ together it’s a great feeling.

• My favorite thing about sports is the team aspect. In sports and in life, you really can’t do everything yourself. While on a team, you either all lose or all win. It takes 100 percent from everyone on a team to achieve success.

• My mother was the reason I first got into football. At the time, I had too much free time on my hands so my mom put me in sports to keep me busy. I’ve loved it from the start.

• My first experience playing football on a team was when I was in the fourth grade. In the south, people tend to worship football. In my hometown, sports can be more like a religion then a game. Your team loves you, your town loves you and even the surrounding towns love you. You can go to local restaurants and eat for free because they appreciate you so much.

• The hardest part about football is getting everyone on the same page, working together.

• Of course I’m a Razorbacks fan. I usually don’t watch the [National Football League] because I don’t care to watch the people who play to get paid. A professional player doesn’t have as much heart as someone in college trying to make it to the NFL.

• For basketball, I’m a Lakers fan. For baseball, I tend to watch individual players rather than a team itself. My belief is that in sports, if your team is solid and is close as a family, it is going to be hard for you to be beat.

• I have two older brothers and one younger brother. My brothers played a major role in my sports career.

• They were my biggest fans. I watched my older brother play through high school and he watched me play. I watched my younger brother play through high school as well.

• I'm the first one in my family who joined the military. It’s weird because I know a lot of people who have a long military background, but I can go as far back as I want and not find anything. It’s a good feeling and it makes me proud to say I served.

• I chose the Marine Corps because they’re the best. Its cliché, but it’s the hardest to make it in and I don’t like taking the easy way out.

• What I like most about the Marine Corps is that the friends you make are more than likely going to be friends forever. It’s a bond you create that you won’t get anywhere else and it’s a strong one.


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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms