MARINE CORPS BASE QUANTICO, Va. --
In honor of Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month, Marine Corps Recruiting Command has developed a new advertising campaign, ‘A Warriors’ Education,’ scheduled for release on May 8.
The social media campaign highlights the values of self-betterment through educational and professional success – values shared by the Marine Corps and the Asian-American community – and keeps with the commandant’s goal of building a diverse and representative Marine Corps.
“Through market research conducted by MCRC, we found that education is highly valued in the Asian-American community,” said Eric Lindsay, strategic marketing specialist, MCRC. “Marines are warriors and through recruit training, Officer Candidates School, formal schools, continuing education programs and experience as Marines they receive a ‘warriors’ education.’”
Upon its release, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube users will see the authentic story of two active-duty Asian-American Marine officers currently with the 2nd Marine Division – First Lieutenants David Pham and Oliver David.
Pham, a Georgia Tech graduate and native of Savannah, Ga., is an infantry officer by trade. He is currently serving as the executive officer of Company C, 1st Battalion, 8th Marines.
David, a native of Long Beach, Calif., is the 2nd Marine Division public affairs officer.
A first generation Vietnamese-American, Pham joined the Marine Corps to give back to the country that took in his mother during the Vietnam War.
“My mom escaped Vietnam during the war and came to the U.S. as a refugee,” said Pham. “She saw communist propaganda during the war about Marines so she was worried and tentative at first about me joining.”
Now, her worry has turned to pride as Pham, a combat veteran and Purple Heart recipient, has begun a promising career as a Marine officer.
After graduating from Valley Christian High School in Cerritos, Calif., David enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve in 2007 with the support of his family.
“My grandfather was a proud officer from the U.S. Army’s Philippine Division in World War II,” said David. “He and my father were both supportive of my decision to enlist.”
David served as a cyber-network operator in the military occupational specialty (MOS) of 0651, reaching the rank of corporal. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in public policy management, planning and development, he attended the 10 week Platoon Leaders Course at Officer Candidates School and earned his commission.
With a degree from a prestigious school like USC, David could have found success in the private sector. His desire to assume the immense responsibilities of a Marine officer persuaded him otherwise.
“Marine officers are put into more positions of responsibility from the beginning of their careers than any organization in the civilian world would give you,” said David. “Young officers are responsible for training and leading Marines into combat, handling valuable equipment and budgets or being in the public eye as the face of the Marine Corps – like public affairs officers are. The ‘warriors’ education’ Marines receive is what prepares them to take on such huge responsibilities so early in their career.”
Similarly for Pham, the leadership opportunities and ever-increasing responsibilities he earned made for a challenging and rewarding job. Pham’s responsibilities began as an infantry platoon commander – a challenging environment for anyone, especially a recent college graduate.
“Straight out of college, infantry officers are thrown into a platoon of combat veterans and are expected to lead them,” said Pham. “As a young officer, that leadership experience is priceless.”
While deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Pham led 40 to 70 Marines and allies in combat. Presently, as a company executive officer, Pham is responsible for the training of more than a hundred Marines.
To prepare Marines for taking on increased responsibilities, every Marine, from a private to the commandant, has myriad opportunities to continue their education. Programs and schools, such as tuition assistance, Enlisted Professional Military Education, Staff Non-commissioned Officer Academy, Expeditionary Warfare School, Marine Corps War College and the Command and Staff College, to name a few, benefit the Marine Corps and the individual Marine.
“As you progress in your career you are always getting more difficult tasks and given more responsibility,” said Pham. “Overcoming that adversity and never giving up is what sets Marine officers up for success and is why the Marine Corps is the United States’ first line of defense.”
To see ‘A Warriors’ Education’ in its entirety, visit and follow MCRC’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube pages between May 8 and June 7.