SAN DIEGO - Love for country coursed through Pfc. Cody Mauro’s, Platoon 2122, Company F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, veins from a very young age and the best and only way he thought he could show it was by becoming a United States Marine.<br /> <br /> “I’ve wanted to join the Marine Corps since I was 5-years-old,” said Mauro, a 20-year-old Woodlands, Texas native. “I just couldn’t get it out of my head.”<br /> <br /> Mauro’s greatest influence to join the military was his grandfather, Oren W. McClure, who served as a command chief in the United States Air Force for more than 30 years. Mauro would sit and listen in amazement at his grandfather’s stories of his travels and experiences and wanted nothing more than to have those experiences as his own.<br /> <br /> “We lived with him for a couple of years and everything he taught me I always took to heart,” said Mauro. “I saw the way everyone looked up to him and respected him; I wanted to be looked at like that.”<br /> <br /> Mauro attended the Lone Star College System in Woodlands, Texas, for a degree in political science from Aug. 2009 to May 2011. After having a heart-to-heart with his supportive mother, Deena, he decided that college wasn’t what he wanted to do.<br /> <br /> “We were sitting on the couch one day and it just came up, the only way I could be happy is if I joined the armed forces,” explained Mauro.<br /> <br /> Immediately, Mauro knew what branch he wanted to join and to everyone’s surprise, it wasn’t the Air Force. Mauro explained that he chose the Marine Corps over the Air Force because as much as it was pushed on him his entire childhood, he felt that he wouldn’t get the experiences he wanted.<br /> <br /> “I felt that the Air Force was more technical and I wanted a ground fighting experience; I saw it being the best way to serve my country,” said Mauro.<br /> <br /> It didn’t matter what choice he made, Mauro’s family was behind him every step of the way. He raised his right hand and enlisted in the Marine Corps June 2011. He waited almost a year to start his journey aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.<br /> <br /> May 14 Mauro stepped foot in recruit training and was given the billet of squad leader, a position given to recruits that show leadership traits. His maturity and understanding nature made his fellow recruits look up to him and respect him.<br /> <br /> “Everything always runs smoothly when he is in charge,” said Pvt. Kevin Kozemczak, Plt. 2122. “He always sets the example and gets tasks taken care of quickly.”<br /> <br /> Mauro always followed through with the tasks given to him and was always pushing others through with motivation, explained Sgt. Isidro Cobos, drill instructor, Plt. 2122.<br /> <br /> “He always took responsibility and would hold himself accountable,” said Cobos, a 27-year-old El Paso, Texas native. “I noticed real quick that he would get things done when I told him to do it.” <br /> <br /> Like every recruit, Mauro struggled with homesickness, but kept himself positive. He used his family as motivation to finish strong and continue through recruit training. <br /> <br /> Mauro soon began to learn a lot about himself. He learned about what the meaning of self-discipline was and how to be a leader, and he learned it through the training given by his drill instructors.<br /> <br /> “I saw the way they carried themselves, how they got things done and how they took care of us,” said Mauro. “I think they are the epitome of what a Marine should be.” <br /> <br /> With an idea of how he wants to conduct himself as a Marine, Mauro will walk away from recruit training with the leadership skills he needs in order to be successful with his Marine Corps career.<br /> <br /> “I want to fulfill everything I possibly can in my Marine Corps career before anything else,” said Mauro. <br /> <br /> Currently, he plans on staying in for 20 years and use his experiences to better himself in life and his career in politics. Mauro hopes that he can give back to the country he loves by serving in the United States Marine Corps.