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    Paving Your Own Path

    U.S Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant Travis

    Photo By Cpl. Emely Gonzalez | U.S. Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Jarrel T. Travis, the company gunnery sergeant for 12th...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Emely Gonzalez 

    12th Marine Corps District

    Gunnery Sgt. Jarrel T. Travis grew up in the inner city of Chicago where he lived with his mother, father and brother. Although it was not the best neighborhood to live in, he had to choose to accept his reality or create a new one. Now, a gunnery sergeant of Marines, Travis chose to overcome his circumstances, create opportunities for himself and has proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps for the last 15 years.

    Travis spent much of his childhood traveling between the city of the Western Chicago area, where his dad lived, and the suburbs of Chicago, where his mom lived as well as spending some of his high school career in Mississippi with his grandmother.

    “When I was younger, I was a goofy kid,” Travis said.

    In school, he was a class clown involved with the wrong people and often found himself in trouble. Despite his immaturity, he was respectful and had good manners, which he believes helped him recover quickly from his mistakes.

    Travis said the change from city to country was a major adjustment. Mississippi was the opposite of what he was used to. Although it was a difficult change at the time, Travis states he is “a city boy, but a country boy at heart,” which reflects his character today.

    Travis believes his drive did not come from encouragement, but doubt. He was motivated to prove people wrong. As a high school student, Travis never imagined himself in the military. A year after high school, he decided to visit a recruiting office where he met a U.S. Marine Corps recruiter who pointed him in the right direction.

    From the beginning of his Marine Corps career, Travis has excelled in everything he has set out to do. He deployed twice, became a drill instructor and was promoted to the rank of gunnery sergeant while balancing being a single parent to his three children. After almost 15 years of service, he continues to share his charisma, wisdom and guidance with other Marines.

    “I think I did pretty well for not knowing anything about the Marine Corps,” Travis said.

    Travis has been challenged throughout his career in the Marine Corps. Determined to prevail, he has found that a combination of grit and balance is the key to success. From the lessons he has learned in his life, Travis is able to identify his weaknesses, turn them into strengths and use his determination to succeed in the face of adversity.

    Travis strongly believes in being the type of leader that he would want to follow. He holds a high value on respect, and tries to fill his actions with honor and authenticity every day.

    “When it comes down to my funeral or when I leave this earth, how will people remember me?” he asked himself.

    The Marine Corps has given Travis many tools that he will utilize to succeed once he retires and pursues his dream of joining law enforcement.

    “Ever since I was a kid, other kids would go home and watch Dragon Ball Z or Pokémon,” he said. “I would watch Cops.”

    Travis wants to continue to help people and give back to the community. He believes he can accomplish this by joining the police force.

    “In today’s day and age, I can’t change the world's perspective on police officers, but I can change the area I patrol in and their perspective on police officers,” Travis said.

    In the beginning, Travis used his doubters as motivation, but now, his motivation is his kids. By utilizing the lessons he has learned in the Marine Corps and staying true to himself, he has been able to overcome the obstacles in his life and continues to pave a better path for himself and his family.



    Date Taken: 01.28.2022
    Date Posted: 02.16.2022 14:54
    Story ID: 414753
    Location: SAN DIEGO, CA, US 
    Hometown: CHICAGO, IL, US

    Web Views: 571
    Downloads: 0