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    A higher standard

    Gunnery Sgt. Britanny Kroha

    Photo By Lance Cpl. Michelle Brudnicki | Gunnery Sgt. Brittany Kroha has worked through every role a drill instructor can play....... read more read more



    Story by Pfc. Michelle Brudnicki 

    Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island           

    Brittany Kroha grew up working on a family farm in the small town of Pedro, Ohio. She took care of the animals and put all her effort into schooling. Her entire family, cousins and all, live in Pedro.
    “My family and I were really close,” Kroha said. “All of us grew up on the same piece of land. So, that was my upbringing. It was very fun and joyful.”
    From a young age, Kroha’s parents expected her to go to college; but when it came time for her to graduate high school, her competitiveness and drive pushed her to take a different route.
    “My mom always told me staying home wasn’t enough for me and that she wanted more for me,” Kroha said. “’You’re going to do more and make something more of yourself,’ she said.”
    Kroha’s family has a rich history in military service. Her uncle was a sniper in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and was killed in action at 19 years old. Kroha looked at her uncle’s story and how the Marine Corps embodied everything she prided herself in: the competitive spirit, bettering herself and the challenge.
    Kroha enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2009 and came to Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in 2016 to become a drill instructor.
    In the last three years, Kroha has grown exponentially. She has served as a drill instructor, a senior drill instructor, and a chief drill instructor while at Fourth Recruit Training Battalion.
    “I’ve always wanted to challenge myself and do the best at everything I could,” Kroha said. “I think that mentality has helped me as a drill instructor.”
    Kroha, who is now a gunnery sergeant, said she has learned more about leadership during her tour as a drill instructor than any other time in her Marine Corps career.
    “As a senior drill instructor, you are leading your peers,” Kroha said. “That takes a lot of patience and understanding, but you also have to be assertive at the same time. That’s difficult with your peers.”
    The command leadership aboard the depot recognized Kroha stood out amongst her peers and selected her as the senior drill instructor for the female platoon of India Company, the Marine Corps’ first combined training company.
    Her time at India Company helped her grow substantially and brought her competitive nature to the highest level.
    “It was very competitive. You have to imagine boot camp, but not just competing against the females across the hall. It’s five other platoons of males,” Kroha said. “That’s going to be the highlight of my career here on the drill field.”
    Throughout Kroha’s time with India Company, the staff took notice of the professional way she conducted herself and how easily she fit in.
    “She’s one of the best staff noncommissioned officers I’ve ever worked with,” said Capt. Trenton Snody, former company commander of India Company. “Right when she showed up, she was able to build relationships with the Marines in the company, and was able to fit in with our fabric as well as she brought a lot to the table.”
    Because of Kroha’s dedication to service and her leadership abilities, she was eventually selected for meritorious promotion to gunnery sergeant. She knew meritorious promotion was possible, but says it’s hard to think about anything other than recruits.
    “When I train recruits, I want to train them to feel how I feel about the Marine Corps,” Kroha said. “Holding recruits to a higher standard helps me hold myself to a higher standard.”
    Although her tour as a drill instructor is coming to an end, Kroha said she’s ready for her next challenge in the Marine Corps; her experiences and the lessons she’s learned about herself have defined her time on Parris Island.
    “I took advantage of every single thing I possibly could, so my experience has just been incredible,” said Kroha. “But it’s my time to go.”



    Date Taken: 08.12.2019
    Date Posted: 08.12.2019 13:46
    Story ID: 335554
    Location: PARRIS ISLAND, SC, US 

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