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    What I've Learned: Justin Booker

    What I've Learned: Justin Booker

    Photo By Staff Sgt. Connor Hancock | Master Sgt. Justin Booker, Combat Center, equal opportunity advisor, stands in front...... read more read more



    Story by Lance Cpl. Connor Hancock 

    Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms

    TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - Master Sgt. Justin Booker has been in the Marine Corps for 18 years and has been on seven deployments. He has a passion for cars and football and hopes to become the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens.

    Booker has been in the Marine Corps for 18 years and has been on seven deployments. He has a passion for cars and football and hopes to become the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens.

    My father always told me to always have a clean car. A car says a lot about a man.

    When I was thirteen, my sister’s car got a flat tire. I figured out how to fix it but I didn’t really know what I was doing. That’s when I realized I need to know more about fixing vehicles.

    Soon after, I got a job at Circuit City installing car stereos and worked with my dad detailing vehicles. My dad taught me how to properly use rotary buffers, dual action polishers, and how to clay-bar vehicles.

    Cars and football are my passion. I love detailing vehicles and working on cars. I own a 2002 BMW X5 4.4 and a 2012 BMW 550 IX M Sport.

    I saved up and bought a 1997 BMW528i. It was a horrible car when I first got it, but I put a lot of work into it and it was absolutely stunning after that.

    The military understands that car problems are a nightmare. The on-base auto hobby shops are a resource I use to save money. Most of the time, you’ll spend half the money doing it yourself compared to having someone else fix your vehicle.

    I like to help other Marines with their cars. If a Marine tells me they’re having a problem I’ll scan their vehicle and find out what the issue is.

    I also have a passion for football because it teaches you a lot about life. It teaches you about team work, hard work and perseverance in difficult times.

    My favorite thing about football is the defense. When you’re a linebacker and you’re tired on 4th and 1, you have to challenge yourself to make the play. The challenges build confidence as a person.

    My dream job is to be the defensive coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens.

    I love the Ravens because their whole team is built around their defense. When the defensive team comes on the field, the crowd erupts.

    The Ravens are unique because they do everything on or off the field as a team. I like how the players talk about the organization as a whole.

    It’s similar to the Marine Corps. You might not always get along with the people you work with, but when everyone’s focused on accomplishing the mission, that’s effective teamwork.

    My favorite football player is Terrell Suggs. He has that mean mug that sums up what a football player should be. When a player is passionate about football, they’re also passionate about life.

    Everyone in my family is a football fanatic. My mom is a Redskins fan and my father is also a Ravens fan. My dad has been a big influence on me.

    He has a lot of quotes; one of my favorites is about intelligence. He said, “Every time a man is in the presence of an attractive woman, his IQ goes down 20 points. If he doesn’t have 20 points to spare, he could be in big trouble.”

    My mom taught me how to be strong. She told me, “Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly before your God.”

    I came into the Marine Corps as an infantry rifleman and my present [military occupational specialty] is a fire support man.

    I’ve always treated my Marines with dignity and respect. This led to me becoming the Equal Opportunity Advisor on base.

    It’s been a change for me because I’m used to being in the field and being in charge of Marines. I’ve never really had an office before. It’s a shock because I’ve been deploying my whole career.

    I’m happy with what I’ve done and I wouldn’t change anything.

    The Marine Corps taught me a lot. I’m a little more knowledgeable now. I don’t take as many risks as I did when I was 18, but sometimes in life, you have to take risks. You have to find the point where success and risk taking meet.

    If I could give junior Marines advice it would be to have options. Even if you’ve decided to end active service, also prepare to re-enlist. Life throws changes at us, and it’s important to have options.

    I would tell a young lance corporal to invest time into increasing their chances of getting promoted. Investing a little time do to MCIs everyday might save you if your family happens to need the money. You never know what is going to happen a year from now.

    Advice is something all Marines can benefit from. When an upset Marine snatched my ID card from me at the front gate in Camp Lejeune, I could tell something big was bothering him. Most master sergeants I know would have gone off on this guy. I wanted to get to the source of the issue. I sat down on the stoop with this Marine for two hours. He explained that his wife took his kids and left town. He didn’t know how to deal with it. By taking a little time, I was able to make a positive impact on this Marine.

    I want to provide Marines with an environment where they can voice their issues.



    Date Taken: 07.29.2015
    Date Posted: 07.29.2015 17:40
    Story ID: 171489

    Web Views: 659
    Downloads: 0