MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.-- -- Lance Cpl. Stephen T. White, a native of Hershey, Pa., was promoted to his present rank Dec. 1 after nine months of service. This promotion, his first in the Corps, is an important milestone in his five-year contract.
After a few years in college studying computer science, he decided he needed more discipline and direction to broaden his education. Because of his college experience, White was awarded the rank of private first class upon enlisting.
White completed recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., and Marine Combat Training at Camp Geiger, N.C. The 21 year-old Marine then earned his military occupational specialty of 0511, Marine Air/Ground Task Force planning specialist at a military school near Norfolk, Va.
“Basically, whenever someone moves from one place to another, we’re in charge of making sure they’re getting where they need to be at the right date and the right time,” he explained in an assured voice. “We also make sure there are no kinks in the system, that no one’s going to try to drive across the Mediterranean Sea or something like that,” he said jokingly.
Tackling the logistical task of moving Marine Corps forces around the world can seem like a tall order to fill, but White accepts it in stride.
“During my first few weeks here, I was mostly just sitting and watching what was going on,” he said, explaining that no amount of civilian or military school can convey a skill as much as on-the-job experience. “After a while, I saw how things are.”
“Now, I think it’s nice knowing what’s going on in the Marine Corps, or at least the East Coast anyway,” he continued.
In addition to his work-related experiences, White pointed out he has been presented with many continuing educational benefits, and the Marine Corps is a cultural class in itself. “If you live in a city, you might meet a lot of people, and they’re usually from that city.” He continued, “In the Marine Corps community, you interact with people from all over the country and sometimes all over the world.”
“I’ve only been in the Marine Corps for a short time, but I’ve met a lot of people and seen and done things you don’t do anywhere else. I’ve been on a couple of Helios, I’ve been on ship, and I’ve done a beach landing,” he said enthusiastically. “It’s been a blast.