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    Stray Off the Beaten Path

    Stay Off the Beaten Path

    Photo By Sgt. Symira Bostic | U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class Leon King takes a photo outside of Recruiting...... read more read more



    Story by Cpl. Symira Bostic 

    8th Marine Corps District

    U.S. Marine Corps Private First Class Leon King Jr., an infantryman, is one of the Corps’ newest Marines out of Recruiting Sub-Station Tempe, Az. The Mesa native graduated from Marine Corps Recruit Training San Diego Sept. 22, 2023.

    King graduated from Westwood High School. He was a part of the delayed entry program for a little over a year, preparing for recruit training.

    King says he comes from a long line of military service, but was the first to take on the challenge of the Marine Corps. That was the motivation for King to stray from the beaten path.

    “I wanted to be the first Marine in my family,” he said. “My entire life I’ve ran towards a challenge and I knew the Marine Corps would provide that.”
    King says he always avoids the easy route.

    “I enjoy the struggle…it feels more rewarding in the end,” he said.
    Marine Corps Recruit Training is no walk in the park. King said his biggest takeaway from the experience is the discipline and self-reliance the drill instructors instilled in every recruit on the depot.

    “I learned how to do [things] without being told,” he says. “I feel like I became an actual adult, a man, from boot camp.”

    King says his biggest advice to someone interested in pursuing the Marine Corps as a career is to first look within themselves for the passion.
    “It can’t just be ‘oh maybe I want to go Marine Corps’, you have to know you want to be a Marine and ask the right people the right questions,” he says. “That’s what makes a good Marine, someone who is sure of their decisions.”

    King is currently on Recruiter’s Assistance. He is scheduled to ship to the School of Infantry West in Camp Pendleton, Ca, later this month. This training marks the transition from entry-level Marine to combat-ready Marine. At SOI, recently graduated enlisted Marines continue their education and training to become more proficient in the fundamentals of being a rifleman.

    For more information on the Marine Corps, visit or call a recruiting station near you.



    Date Taken: 10.18.2023
    Date Posted: 10.18.2023 21:33
    Story ID: 456084
    Location: TEMPE, AZ, US
    Hometown: MESA, AR, US
    Hometown: TEMPE, AZ, US

    Web Views: 76
    Downloads: 1