San Diego — SAN DIEGO— Discipline, commitment, honor, and courage are all core values instilled by the United States Marine Corps (USMC). When a young recruit makes the decision to become a marine, he or she must embody those attributes. Indianapolis native Benjamin Saucedo knows this first hand, and has learned to become each of those things.
Saucedo, 22, is a 2007 graduate of Northwest High School. He credits the Marine Corps with shaping him into the man he is today.
“I was kind of slacking in school,” he said. “ I wasn’t even trying that hard but I told myself I didn’t want to sit around and do nothing.”
Saucedo said he decided to join the U.S. Marine Corps, to cement his future and map out a plan. Why the Marines instead of the Army or Air Force?
“I picked the Marine Corps because they have the toughest standards,” said Saucedo. “I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I like it.”
Saucedo works at Marine base Camp Pendleton, just outside of San Diego, as a flight line mechanic.
He works on the CH-53 model helicopter, making repairs and fixing problems, including those with the engines and transmissions.
“I love my job and what I do,” he said. “I have these skills now for when I do go out and leave the Marine Corps. I have a base.”
Staff Sergeant Brody Goldthwaite, a drill instructor at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, said that new recruits are usually unprepared for the training.
“It’s a culture shock for new recruits,” said Goldthwaite. “They’re not back home anymore. It’s time to grow up.”
Goldthwaite said in the end however, it’s worth it for the recruit, as with Saucedo, and the drill instructor.
“A recruit will never forget his drill instructor. He will make him into a different person,” he said.
Saucedo entered the Marine Corps upon graduating from high school, and while he credits it with changing his life, he is still considering whether or not he’ll re-enlist.
“I would re-enlist,” he says, “but I am exploring the world outside of the Marine Corps.”
Whatever path he decides to take, he knows he’ll be well prepared.
“I will definitely always have a plan. I have resources now,” he said.
The Marine Corps, he affirmed, has prepared him to face the world as a grounded adult.
“Financially it’s great — I have great credit, steady pay. I’m independent now,” he said.
“I went from living with my mom to being on my own,” he added.