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    Parris Island recruit loses 95 pounds to join Marine Corps

    Parris Island recruit loses 95 pounds to join Marine Corps

    Photo By Cpl. MaryAnn Hill | Pfc. Joshua Rogers, a 27-year-old native of Jacksonville, Fla., had to shed 95 pounds...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. MaryAnn Hill 

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island           

    MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT, PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. - One recruit’s journey to become a Marine began almost five years before he stepped on Parris Island’s yellow footprints Dec. 17, 2012.

    What kept Pfc. Joshua Rogers from fulfilling his dream to become a U.S. Marine was his weight – nearly 100 pounds too much of it.

    “I went through life never really knowing what I wanted to do,” said Rogers, Platoon 1016, Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion. “After I graduated college and worked for a while, I felt like I wasn’t doing what I was meant to do in life, so I started doing some serious research about the military. I read about the Marine Corps infantry and I was instantly hooked.”

    Rogers, a 27-year-old native of Jacksonville, Fla., ran on his middle school’s cross country team, but stopped in high school because his family moved to Beijing for his father’s job. He said that was when the weight gain began, due to his lack of exercise.

    After Rogers graduated high school, he moved back to the United States and studied at the University of Minnesota and earned a bachelor’s degree in English.

    Rogers’ first encounter with the Marine Corps was in March 2008. He went to the local recruiting office and asked if he was qualified to join. The recruiter told him if he could lose enough weight to be eligible to begin recruit training, the Marines would give him a chance to earn the title.

    “At first, I didn’t really take losing the weight seriously,” said Rogers. “I didn’t really have any motivation. Then, one day at work, one of my co-workers was talking about how awesome his gym was, and I told him I would try it, and I loved it. After that, I got serious about my weight loss. I cut out fast food, started eating low-calorie meals, running and lifting weights.”

    Rogers began his transformation in May 2011, weighing 260 pounds. By August 2012, he shed 95 pounds.

    “He wasn’t very confident in himself and was overall very unhappy with his weight before he lost it,” said Carolyn Rogers, his mother. “After he lost the weight, he was a much happier person altogether.”

    In March 2012, Joshua Rogers revisited the recruiting office and met a new recruiter. The recruiter told him to lose five more pounds over the next two weeks and he could get him into the Marine Corps.

    When Joshua Rogers went to the Military Entrance Processing Station two weeks later, he found out he was able to join. As soon as he was in, he stayed committed. He went to the recruiting station at least twice a week to physically prepare himself for recruit training and to trim the last few pounds off.

    “I was kind of apprehensive the first time he told me he joined the Marine Corps,” said Rogers’ mom, a 52-year-old native of Jacksonville. “But I got used to the idea and agreed it would be the best thing for him.”

    Keeping himself motivated for the year and a half it took him was difficult, but definitely worth it in the end, said Joshua Rogers.

    “Whenever I wanted to give up, I just kept thinking that it was now or never,” he said. “If I didn’t lose the weight now, I wouldn’t be able to join the Marines, which is what I’ve wanted since I was 22.”

    Joshua Rogers had a tough time enlisting in the Marine Corps, coming to Parris Island and enduring recruit training. Now, after almost two years of hard work and dedication, he walked across the parade deck March 15 as one of the nation’s newest Marines.



    Date Taken: 03.15.2013
    Date Posted: 03.20.2013 16:39
    Story ID: 103823
    Location: PARRIS ISLAND, SD, US
    Hometown: JACKSONVILLE, FL, US

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