While most seniors have two or three more months to mentally prepare themselves before they go off to college, senior Jimmy Schatmeyer has less than a month before he trades in his school books for work boots.
Schatmeyer is committed to the United States Marine Corps (USMC) for four years of active duty; he leaves for boot camp on June 15. Boot camp is held at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in San Diego, and it consists of 13 weeks of physical and mental training.
Schatmeyer decided to join the Marines in his sophomore year.
“Honestly [I decided to enlist] because I wanted to join something that was bigger…I figured that if no one else is going to do it, why don’t I do it?” Schatmeyer said. “I want to do something that really challenges me and makes me a better person, and I figured this is the best way.”
Within the Marines there are countless different jobs, and Schatmeyer discusses his goals and future within the USMC.
“I’m going to be a CM, which is a carpenter/contractor engineering type [job], so it’s in the engineering field. And then after two years I can switch my job if I really want to, so I’ll figure it out from there,” Schatmeyer said. “[After four years] I have to decide if I want to keep going, which I think I will, and then I just have to re-sign. I want to stay until at least Sergeant, and then see from there.”
In order to prepare for boot camp, many future Marines go to physical training (PT) every Wednesday.
“It’s basically like a little workout that I do with my recruiter, and I run the workout that we do. It’s mainly circuit stuff and runs that we do; it’s fun,” Schatmeyer said.
Schatmeyer said that his parents are supportive of his decision, but that his father was harder to win over.
“At first, my mom was just supportive and my dad was really unsupportive, because he’s just never really liked that kind of stuff. I think my mom was more supportive just because my cousin on her side is also a Marine. But they are both really supportive now,” Schatmeyer said.
For Schatmeyer, nerves aren’t a problem–at least not yet.
“I’m really excited,” Schatmeyer said. “I think the night [I leave] I’ll probably be nervous, but for right now I’m really excited.”