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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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Recruit adapts, overcomes, takes the lead

By Cpl. Christopher A. Raper | | June 14, 2002

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Private First Class Harold J. Trombley grew up with an easy life in a well-off family in the small town of Farwell, Michigan.

The 18-year-old played sports throughout his high school career, but never had to work a day in his life.  His time was spent partying and hanging out with friends.

Trombley graduated from high school a semester early and headed straight for recruit training and his chance to become a Marine.

"Becoming a Marine has always been a hunger for me," said Trombley.  "I think the life will suit me."

His hunger was quenched when Trombley climbed down the steps of the bus and joined his fellow recruits on the yellow footprints.  With his identity stripped away, it was time for a period of adjustment and acclimation.

"You get to boot camp and they shave your hair and take your clothes, stripping away your identity," said Trombley.  "There was definitely a period of adjustment and acclimation during receiving week."

Shortly after training began, Trombley showed his ability as a leader.

"I gave training my best and was able to work the system," said Trombley.  "I think my success came from my ability to take control and become a leader, adapting to the situation.  If it wasn't for my drill instructors though, I wouldn't be here."

Trombley stepped up to the plate and outstripped his peers during the three months of training it took for him to become a Marine.

"You are always competing for something with everyone," said the company honorman.  "Walking across the parade deck in the position that I am in is going to be a great accomplishment for me."

The road to fame wasn't always clear for the new graduate.

"There was times during training when I doubted my decision," said Trombley.  "After raising the flag at the top of the Reaper though I knew that I had done the right thing."

Trombley wouldn't have made it to the top without a little help from home.

"My family has always been there for me," said Trombley.  "They've helped me out in whatever I do.  It's going to be great to see them again."

Trombley hopes to become half the man his father, Don Trombley, is.

"My father is as hard as a rock," said Trombley.  "Some people will do the right thing while you are watching them and then the minute you turn your back they are up to no good.  My father is the straight laced all the way through."

After today's graduation, Trombley will enjoy 10 days of well-earned leave before heading to the School of Infantry at Camp Pendleton.  His mission is to be indoctrinated into force reconnaissance unit.

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