By The Major Brent Taylor Foundation
By Ann Park
Joshua Burnett joined the Marine Reserves in February 2018. He went to boot camp in San Diego. “It was a hard experience,” Josh remembers. “But the best thing about it was the people and the relationships we made. Everyone there was young, and no one knew anyone else. When you’re all going through the same things, you get really close to everyone.”
After scoring well on the tests, Josh was able to choose any military occupational specialty that he wanted. He decided to become an air traffic controller and received his training in Pensacola, FL. “It was the coolest thing I did during my service. Where else would you get to work with the same kinds of aircraft and technology?”
Josh’s mom, Jennifer, is proud of her son’s service. “One of his greatest accomplishments was receiving an expert qualification on the rifle range, and he always enjoyed physical fitness, so he did really well on all the fitness tests. He was the one to reach out to other soldiers and make sure they didn’t sit around the barracks playing video games during their down time.”
Josh enjoyed bringing people together. “Serving in the Marines, our duty stations were always near the ocean. We’d gather everyone and take a cab to the beach for the day, playing football and having fun together.” Asked if he could tell the rest of us one thing about his time in the Marines, he said, “Serving in the military is one of the most selfless things you can do. You’re giving up everything you know in order to serve, and you do what they tell you to do. But there are benefits that make it worth it, especially for young men just starting out. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. But it helped me a lot to prepare for the next steps in my life. In the Marines, I did a lot of things that I wouldn’t have otherwise done, like hiking ten miles through the mountains with an 80lb pack and all my gear. The training gives you confidence. “Once a marine, always a marine.” And I feel like that’s true.”
Josh received an honorable discharge in Feb 2022, with the rank of Corporal. Thank you for your service.
When you first get in, it’s a difficult adjustment, boot camp is challenging and the marines go through Marine Combat Training as well. Some things seem really hard when you’re looking at them, but if you just put one foot in front of the other, you get through it. Then you can look back and say, “I did that.”
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