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    Retired Marine mentors East Pennsboro students



    Story by Cpl. Nathaniel Hamilton 

    1st Marine Corps District

    ENOLA, Pennsylvania – Born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Robert Charles Rainis knew he was destined to join the military.

    Today, after deploying all over the world, from Afghanistan to Japan, he has taken the lessons he learned and continues developing the nation’s next generation.

    In a family where both of his grandfathers and his own father all served in the U.S. Army, he says he almost didn’t have a choice. His first idea was to follow along and join the Army, but he also had friends that already joined the Marine Corps.

    “After speaking with the Army recruiters, I really didn’t have a good feeling for what they were trying to tell me,” Rainis said. “And the Marine Corps recruiter was very honest with me and straight up, so I chose the Marine Corps based off of how he treated me.”

    In 1999, upon completion of recruit training in Parris Island, South Carolina, Rainis was off to Marine Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 3 (VMAQ-3) at Marine Corps Base Cherry Point, North Carolina, where he began his career as an Aviation Operations Marine.

    In addition to deployments, he was also stationed in Pensacola, Florida; Yuma, Arizona; Miramar, California; Boston, during his career. His main takeaway from his travels is the family aspect of being a Marine.

    “The smallest branch of service and the comradery that we actually have…it’s kind of like a small knit family,” said Rainis. “I still keep in touch with Marines that I served with 20 years ago. Pretty much for me it’s the close knit family that I had the entire time I was in the Marine Corps.”
    Gunnery Sgt. Rainis retired from the Marine Corps in 2020, after completing recruiting duty in Boston. Just a month later, he became a Navy Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (NJROTC) instructor for East Pennsboro High School in Enola, Pennsylvania.

    “It helps me be more structured in the actual private sector that I’m seeing,” Rainis said of his experiences. “Being in education now, I actually get a lot of teachers now asking how I do things and what type of structure I had while I was in the military. It kind of helps me along the way with guiding my peers, now that I’m out of the Marine Corps.”

    In his new career, Rainis uses his Marine Corps experience to guide his students.

    “Before it was like mentoring young Marines, now it’s the same thing,” he said. “They’re high school students, but I still get to mentor them one on one…. After class is done, they can come talk to me about whatever is going on in their life.”

    Rainis said he believes being a Marine who served as a recruiter recently, helps him relate to students on a more professional level.

    “I treat every student with respect,” he said. “I tell them all the time, ‘I’m going to treat you like adults until you act like children.’ Overall just being in the Marine Corps dealing with young Marines and Officers that were older than me, just a lot of different individuals, kind of gives me more of an advantage than teachers coming right out of college.”

    Rainis also has advice for those seeking to join the military after high school.

    “I tell my students all the time, if they’re planning on joining any branch of service, whether it is the Marine Corps or another branch, to choose a job that is going to benefit them once they get out of the military,” said Rainis. “Something that they can carry over – whether it’s four years or twenty-four years in the service – choose something that’s going to benefit you the most and you’re going to get the most out of it.”



    Date Taken: 01.28.2022
    Date Posted: 01.28.2022 18:06
    Story ID: 413658
    Location: ENOLA, PA, US 

    Web Views: 188
    Downloads: 0