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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

3280 Russell Road, 2nd Floor Quantico, Va. 22134
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Local student named YPF Champion

By | 12th Marine Corps District | June 10, 2003

RECRUIING STATION SAN DIEGO -- When the Marines at the 2003 regional and national youth physical fitness competition saw Brenda Piñiero perform 30 dead-hang pull-ups, not a jaw remained closed.  The two-time National Youth Physical Fitness Champion astonished the Marines, because most male Marines can?t do 30 dead-hang pull-ups.

Brenda Piñiero is the number one ranked female competitor in the nation and the 2003 National YPF Champion.

Piñiero is of a special character with high values in commitment and excellence.  She won't settle for second and never has.  She trains hard, because she knows she can't let herself fail.

"I wish more schools had this program," said SSgt. Miguel Martinez, RSS Chula Vista canvassing recruiter for Mar Vista High School.  "This program instills the young adults with a spirit of commitment and dedication that most kids nowadays don?t have."

For the last few years, the 18-year-old has dominated this competition.  Now, she faces a bigger challenge ? graduating high school and figuring out what she wants to do.

The high school senior has been a part of Mar Vista's Navy Junior Reserve Officer Training Cadet unit for all four years of high school.  Also, her good friend and former YPF team member currently attends the New Mexico Military Institute.  With a rather extensive background in military training and knowledge, plus her athletic abilities, Piñiero is often invited to join one of America's Armed Services.  Retired Senior Chief Petty Officer Pedro Gonzales, YPF coach and Mar Vista?s NJROTC instructor, says he is sure that Piñiero would excel in any move she makes, based upon her dedication.  He added that he hasn't seen a level of dedication in someone so young in a long time.

"Brenda is a rare girl with tremendous athletic ability and determination," said Gonzales.  "But it doesn't really stop there.  She's smart and has an ability to lead others."

A Marine recruiter looks for young adults with all of the qualities that Piñiero emulates.  The question is, does Piñiero want to be a Marine.

"Yes. Yes, I do want to be a Marine," said Piñiero, during an interview with Martinez.  "I just want a little time to think about everything."

Piñiero knows what it feels like to be the best.  If she were to join any of the military services, she knows she would be cheating herself if she doesn't join the Marine Corps.

"I'm definitely interested in the Corps, but I'm just a little worried about boot camp," said Piñiero, nervously.  "I'm scared of getting yelled at."

Piñiero explained to Martinez that she loves the pride of being number one and the sense of accomplishment that goes with it.  She also said that leading her fellow teammates felt good and she couldn't explain the feeling of being part of a dedicated team.

"It's been a long-time goal of mine to finish number one," said Piñiero.  "All the hard work with lunch-time training, after-school practices and working out on my own time really paid off."

Martinez says he believes she'll make the right decision when she?s ready.

"When a young man or woman can do 30 dead-hang pull-ups, that individual can accomplish much more than Marine Corps boot camp," said Martinez.  "She's got incredible talent, and if she decides to, she will make a stellar Marine and go off to do great things for our Corps."

Brenda is not only the YPF champ and a model student athlete; she is a standing testimony to the success in the YPF program.

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