DARWIN, NT, AUSTRALIA
ROBERTSON BARRACKS, Northern Territory, Australia – The Marine Corps is renowned worldwide for the challenge it offers potential recruits and any who seek the honor of earning the Eagle, Globe and Anchor. This kind of environment draws people from all corners of the globe who want to be a part of an elite organization. Corporal Christopher Eves, a section leader with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force – Darwin, came to America with this intention.
Born in Queensland, Australia, Eves was raised just outside of Brisbane. Throughout his early years he was constantly moving from place to place due to the fact that his father was a soldier in the Australian Army.
“I could never really call one place home,” Eves said. “We were always moving around, but the army lifestyle appealed to me.”
In 2004 Eves signed up to be an officer in the Australian Army.
“A lot of my family had been in the army,” he said. “There was a lot of action going on at the time so I wanted to get out and see the world.”
Eves worked with multiple U.S. military services, but first encountered U.S. Marines while participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“They just had a similar attitude to the Australian Soldiers,” he said. “They always got more done with less support; that’s what I loved about them.”
The Marines trained harder than everyone, they worked harder and they were the most professional, said Eves.
After six-years in the Australian Army, Eves decided it was time to make his dream of being a Marine a reality. He and his wife moved to Virginia where he proceeded to enlist into the Marine Corps. Eves already had leadership experience which made the trials of boot camp much easier.
“He’s just one of those guys who is a born a leader,” said Cpl. Cameron Flavel, a Squad Leader with Weapons Company, 1st Bn., 5th Marines, MRF-D. “I remember one time in boot camp they had him teaching a land navigation class because he knew more than the instructors.”
Eves was used to the trials of a military lifestyle, making the adjustment that most new Marines have to go through much easier.
“Everything just came natural to me,” Eves said. “I already had a lot of experience so I loved sharing it and helping out the other Marines.”
During his initial deployment to Okinawa, Eves was able to teach his Marines everything from Jungle warfare to patrolling.
“I was only a lance corporal at the time teaching classes that a staff sergeant should be teaching just because of my prior experience,” he said. “I was really given a lot of opportunities that most junior Marines did not have.”
Eves has a laid back leadership style but still commands respect from Marines in his section.
“He’s not the kind of guy who will scream at you if you mess up,” said Flavel, a native of San Angelo, Texas. “But all his Marines respect him, and are too scared to let him down.”
After spending three-years in the Marine Corps Eves received news that his unit would be returning to Australia on a deployment.
“I was pretty excited to be coming back home,” Eves said. “I miss a lot about this country, especially the sports.”
Eves plans to continue his career in the Marine Corps and is thankful for all the opportunities and challenges it has offered him.
“What I love most about the Marines is that no matter where you come from or what your accent is, you’ll always be accepted as a brother,” he said. “I share all my experiences with my Marines and they embrace it. Being able to see and learn from other people is what makes this organization so great.”
||DARWIN, NT, AU
||BRISBANE, QLD, AU
||SAN ANGELO, TX, US
This work, Australian Soldier now U.S. Marine, returns home, by Sgt James Gulliver, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.