Skip to comments.Face of Defense: Teacher, Entrepreneur Chooses Marines
Posted on 06/15/2010 2:42:05 PM PDT by SandRat
Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego
MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif., June 15, 2010 Marine Corps Pfc. Patrick Collman, assigned to Platoon 2109, Company E here, could have gone to Officer Candidate School, because he has a bachelors degree.
Collman said he wanted to start from the bottom and work his way up, as he has demonstrated in virtually every aspect of his life leading to boot camp. That way, if you do get into a higher position, you know what the lower positions are going through, he explained.
Having grown up in the mountains of Colorado, Collman loved the outdoors. He became a Boy Scout, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout during his senior year of high school. But before he could lead scouts, he had to start somewhere. Just as Marines start as recruits, Boy Scouts must go through the ranks and start as Cub Scouts.
I was never satisfied with stopping halfway, he said. Earning Eagle Scout rank was just another challenge for him, he added.
Just as in scouting, Collman was not satisfied with just being a high school student in his teenage years. During high school, he worked for three years designing databases for a telecommunications firm. It made him realize that he didnt like suit-and-tie jobs, he said, but it had its own merits.
Collman also was active in search and rescue, and he became a certified wilderness first responder. He participated in search and rescue operations, was responsible for saving the lives of many people, performed CPR and organized helicopter evacuations, he said.
After graduating from high school, Collman went to college at the University of Colorado in Boulder. He operated his own contracting and construction company and worked in the retail business during college to pay for tuition, books and his cost of living. He started his business on a whim during his sophomore year in college, he said, because job opportunities werent abundant. He performed tasks such as staining, painting and building decks.
It was easy to do, and I like working with my hands, Collman said. Theres a craftsmans pride to that line of work. When you paint a house and walk by it a year later and its not peeling, you can think, I did that. It pays well, so I raided [a home-improvement store] to get myself started.
He took out ads and walked around neighborhoods putting out flyers, and said he always had very competitive pricing. The business was mostly a one-man band, he said.
He graduated from the college with a bachelors degree in history and a secondary social sciences teaching license. He got a job teaching high school sophomore- and junior-level history and government classes in Erie, Colo., prior to joining the Marine Corps.
Collman said he hadnt planned on becoming a teacher; he had started out studying engineering.
With teaching, the success is measurable, he explained. When students go from Cs to As, you can see the change right in front of your eyes. A teacher educates his students not only on the subject, but on life. They teach ethics, morals and decision-making.
Teachers can have a direct influence on their students lives, he said. Teaching history, he said, showed him he could turn something dreaded into something fun.
Id hear my fellow students saying, History sucks, Collman said, looking befuddled and disgusted at the notion. I loved history. I was tired of people bashing on history. It was like a little extra salt in my wound.
Although hed established himself as a teacher, Collman said, he had always planned on enlisting in the Marine Corps. In high school, he said, he initially looked into all the military branches because he wanted to serve his country.
Theres just something [Marines] have that the other branches dont, he said. They are different from the other branches. Part of it is in the way they carry themselves.
The difference was obvious to him, he added, when he met his first Marine recruiter.
I walked in, and there he stood, Collman said. He said to me, So you want to join my Marine Corps? The way he said it was like, What the hell are you doing here? Collman said he took it as a challenge.
Collman talked to his first recruiter when he was 16, and signed up when he was 22. He still remembers that first recruiter throwing that challenge at him.
That challenge was to become a Marine, and to defend his country, just as his grandfathers did before him, he said.
Ive always been a die-hard patriot, Collman said. He was a freshman in high school during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, so that was even more motivation for him to join, he added.
There is a threat and someone has to stand against it, he explained.
Though he has been trained to be a teacher, an Eagle Scout, a contractor and a wilderness first responder, Collman said, he is a Marine first, and now that he has completed boot camp, he plans to continue to challenge himself.
Good on him! Although, being prior enlisted is not necessarily an indicator that one will be a good officer. Often leads to being either too harsh or too lenient with the troops...more often too harsh.
Where’s the “like” button?
I LOVE this guy!
We need MORE like him!
“Some people go their whole lives wondering if they’ve made a difference. But the Marines...they don’t have that problem...”
The Marine who answered him explained to him that, with the exception of the Navy SEALs, all the interesting jobs in the military go to the enlisted men.
The poor officers get shoved into management.
One completed a year of college before he went in. He is also a Freeper. He and his brother are both taking college classes while serving. Both entered as Pfc.'s having completed their Eagle. Both are now LCpl's.
And I am damn proud of both of them.
In the same spirit, I treat you in same fashion.
You should consider not discussing that which you know little of.
BTW, where I come from BULLY equals COWARD!
CBRN and LAAD gunner
The internet has been a terrific way for young men who are considering careers in the military to connect with those who can answer their questions.
What a great resource and what a great way for men who have served to continue to serve!
Thx for your service!
Of course, in his modesty (he's 92, an orphan whose only family was the U.S. Army), he shakes his head. But when he shakes his head he smiles.
And I know he thinks of how the Army saved his @ss...and saved mine.
He was a Top Kick in the Special Engineers in the So. Pacific.
If I even mention the Military, his eyes get moist.
You demonstrate that ignorance is bliss. Keep smiling.
We have all been the little kid on the playground.
And as such we all know bullies when we see them...and when we grow up, we come to understand that it is their deep-seated weaknesses that cause them to inflict their "anger" on others.
You don't know me...but that doesn't stop you from trying to inflict an injury that will somehow make you feel better about yourself.
Are you somehow innocent of that? Are there things about which you are not ignorant?
I don't know if you are a bully or just indisposed because it is the cocktail hour.
But either way, get a grip "hero"...you acquitting yourself poorly.
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