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    Local Marine and Commanding General Speak to Seattle Youth

    Local Marine and Commanding General Speak to Seattle Youth

    Photo By Cpl. Francisco Martinez | Major Gen. Mark A. Brilakis, Commanding General, Marine Corps Recruiting Command,...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Francisco Martinez 

    Marine Corps Recruiting Command           

    SEATTLE, Wash. -- A young boy stood in a crowded auditorium of more than 150 boys and girls at Seattle's Museum of Flight today and asked Marine Sergeant Thomas Groom, “What has been your most memorable experience serving in the Marine Corps?"

    Groom, a recruiter out of recruiting station Seattle, replied with two favorite experiences. One was being able to work in combat operations in Afghanistan with other countries militaries. The other was seeing Marine Special Operations forces fast-rope down from a Helicopter into Seattle Seahawks stadium at CenturyLink Field. "Seeing those reconnaissance Marines fast-rope onto the field was a mind blowing experience that I will not forget.”

    The young boys and girls gathered at the museum to hear a short presentation by the United States Marine Corps during the city of Seattle's annual Seafair event, augmented this year with special demonstrations by the Marines. Groom, was one of the guest speakers, telling the youth about leadership lessons he has learned from his experiences working as a U.S. Marine.

    Groom said as a young boy from Prosser Washington, he was already aspiring to lead. As a former football player at Prosser High School and junior class president, Groom was able to begin developing his leadership abilities. Groom now finds talking to these boys and girls a privilege, as well as anytime he can talk with family, friends and fellow Northwesterners. "Since I joined the Marines, what I have learned about life is each situation you'll face it is never the same ... you have to be flexible to come up the right response for the present circumstances."

    Major General (Maj. Gen.) Mark Brilakis, commanding general, Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC), was the keynote speaker for the leadership academy presentation. After stating that endurance was in his opinion one of the most important leadership traits, he was joined by Groom at the end of the talk for a questions and answers session to help satisfy the many curiosities of the young public. Questions ranged from "How do you get those stars on your collar?," to "What does it feel like to be a Marine?"

    All the questions the Marines received demonstrated a real interest by the boys and girls in attendance, each wanting to learn more about the life of a Marine, what it takes to become a Marine and what makes the Marines different from other U.S. military services.

    "We are hosting this leadership academy with these young boys and girls here in the front, because we care about you guys and want to help you learn about who we are and what we do,” said Brilakis. “We want to share with you some valuable insights on leadership as Marines you may not get from anywhere else."

    The Marine Corps joined efforts with the United States Navy to engage in Seattle's Seafair celebration in an effort to help build public understanding of the Navy and Marine Corps services and how the two work very closely around the globe.

    Several Marines from MCRC and supporting units came to host a three day youth leadership academy for youth (ages 10 to 17) from participating youth centers connected to Seattle's Parks and Recreation programs.

    "These young boys and girls down front here in our leadership academy experienced running a modified combat fitness test yesterday and some may be a little sore today, but one young man told me something that caught my attention,” said Brilakis. “He said he learned that anything worth doing in life maybe hard and painful or have obstacles to overcome, but you just have to do it and get through it. That young man gets it..., he gets our point for being here."

    Purpose for the Marines Leadership Academy is to help build public awareness of effective principles and traits Marines use every day, foster positive relationships with the local community and conduct motivational and challenging events that would test young boys and girls physically and test their ability to lead and make tough decisions.

    The two Marine speakers were appreciative of the youth that committed to attending the academy this week and those visitors who decided to join the Marines' presentation while touring the museum.

    Maj. Gen. Brilakis concluded his remarks to the crowd by pointing out one of the academy's objectives and its link to the Marine Corps' responsibility to the nation. "Our Commandant of the Marine Corps says our mission is we Make Marines, Win our nation's battles and return quality citizens back to American public. I encourage you guys to work hard, don't quit, and serve others in your communities who need your help. That is what quality citizens do."

    Recruiting directly from Puyallup, Wash., Groom has found many Americans in the Northwest may know very little about the Marine Corps compared to Navy or Army. He also found that he must use many leadership traits he communicated to the youth today to help build public understanding and find qualified young and men who may desire to join the Marines. According to Groom, the Marine Corps support of Seafair this year will help him.

    “The two biggest challenges that we run into is that initial conversation and backing up what we’re talking about with relevant proof,” said Groom. “This event does both for us.”



    Date Taken: 08.01.2014
    Date Posted: 08.01.2014 20:41
    Story ID: 138061
    Location: SEATTLE, WA, US 
    Hometown: PROSSER, WA, US
    Hometown: PUYALLUP, WA, US

    Web Views: 116
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