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Pfc. David Carr, ammunition technician, Center Magazine Area, spends his free time playing pick-up basketball games and practicing Jiu-jitsu. He is currently working on his associate’s degree in criminal justice at Copper Mountain College.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz

What I've Learned: David Carr

17 Mar 2016 | Photo by Lance Cpl. Levi Schultz Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Pfc. David Carr, ammunition technician, Center Magazine Area, spends his free time playing pick-up basketball games and practicing Jiu-jitsu. He is currently working on his associate’s degree in criminal justice at Copper Mountain College.

I grew up in a middle class community. It was a nice neighborhood; the kind where all the children play outside. It felt like I was in the middle of everything. If I wanted to go to New York City, I could take a train ride and be there. If I wanted to play paintball or ride dirt bikes in the country, I could just take a different bus.

Right now, I’m actually an [ammunition technician] and I work at the [Center Magazine Area.] It’s essentially where units go when they conduct training and need ammunition or munitions. Units that don’t use all their allotted ammo turn it in to CMA. My job is basically quality assurance, I make sure it is still good to use and get a count so we can return it to our inventory.

I joined the Marine Corps straight out of high school.
I knew I wanted to join the military in my senior year but my parents did not approve at first. They wanted me to go to college however I knew what was right for me. It was set in stone the day I talked to my recruiter.

When I spoke to the Marines, they were straight forward; I liked that.

I have two siblings, an older sister and younger brother. My sister lives in D.C. and works as a consultant for [the Federal Emergency Management Agency.] She graduated from the University of Maryland with a full scholarship and is the academic of the family while being an inspiration to me.

My little brother has always looked up to me. I believe he wants to become a Marine as well.

I love playing basketball. Whenever I get the opportunity I play pick-up games at the gym. I just like the running and sprinting as well as the competition of the sport. It also requires a team to move with fluidity. You have to be in sync with each other to score points on the other team.

I have a couple friends who I can always play with but you can always find people who want to play here. Everyone is down for a little friendly competition every now and then.

Before I joined the military, I got really interested in Jiu-jitsu and started taking classes. My friends and I will spar from time to time and we always pick up new techniques from one another. I’m not too knowledgeable but I enjoy the challenge of having to be creative to come up with a solution to beat an opponent.

Stamina is the hardest part. Grappling can go on for an extended period of time and you have to be able to stay in the fight even when you get tired.

When you have a new move you want to try it can be difficult to execute. I get satisfaction out of using a technique I’ve just learned successfully.

I started going to school at Copper Mountain College this January. I’m making use of financial aid and am working toward an associate’s degree in criminal justice.

I’d say the thing I value most about the Marine Corps is being able to talk to another Marine and just click with them. You can always find common ground. It’s different than being home and meeting somebody you don’t know because it will take longer to get to know them. Marines are all like brothers and sisters.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms