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Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va.

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Iowa outdoorsman works way to top of Company D platoon

By Lance Cpl. Charlie Chavez | | March 02, 2007

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO -- One Company D recruit was immortalized in the hunting community as the young man who killed one of the largest non-typical Whitetail Deer recorded. Now, three years later he finds himself in the Marine Corps behind the iron sights of an M16-A2 service rifle.

Since the sprightly age of four, Pfc. Anthony W. Lovstuen, Platoon 1063, has been around hunters, including his father and family in Albia, Iowa.

His father and two cousins had been chasing the unique buck for nearly three years before Lovstuen was able to take the animal down.

“My dad shot the deer in the shoulder with a shotgun from 60 yards away, but didn’t kill it,” said Lovstuen. “Both of my cousins have seen the deer but never got a chance to fire at it while they were bow hunting.”

At the age of 15, Lovstuen delivered the coup de grâce to the buck in a youth hunting competition ending the family chase and killing his first deer. The deer weighed approximately 200 pounds and is the largest recorded while hunting.

“At first, it was exciting when he killed the deer,” said Doug E. Lovstuen, Anthony’s father. “Then after a while, we realized the chase was over so it was slightly disappointing too. But now I’m extremely proud of (Anthony) graduating from boot camp.”

While home over Thanksgiving break from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa, Lovstuen was walking in the mall with his grandparents when a Marine Corps recruiters’ office caught his eye. He said that he took a business card and called, and within a week he was on his way to recruit training.

“I’m glad that I did it so quickly,” said Lovstuen, who is 18. “There was no time for doubt, and my friends were taken back when I told them. It was a good feeling.”

Lovstuen credits the discipline, pride and common knowledge that helped him graduate as guide of his platoon to his father and the experiences they shared in hunting and life.

“My father always pushed my family to be the best in everything we did,” said Lovstuen. “I think that will carry over into my Marine Corps career.”

Lovstuen’s father originally bought him a BB gun when he was five years old and then graduated his son into shooting with shotguns and rifles.

Having experience with weapons made for an easy transition into Marine Corps marksmanship, but Lovstuen said he learned a lot about weapons techniques and precision firing from the primary marksmanship instructors.

“We basically want to teach the recruits to maintain correct sight alignment and have good trigger control,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher L. Survillo, staff noncommissioned officer in charge, Marksmanship Training Unit, Weapons and Field Training Battalion. “There is a different focus from hunting than in Marine Corps marksmanship, and we want them to know how to use the iron sights correctly. Marine Corps marksmanship has been proven effective, and it works.”

Lovstuen heeded the advice of his instructors and shot a 218 of a possible 250 for a sharpshooter ranking. The firing and field training portion of training stood out to Lovstuen, who enjoys the outdoors.

Lovstuen’s hard work and adaptation to the boot camp common knowledge was noticed early on by his drill instructors who picked him out to be a leader from the first phase.

“He stood apart from the recruits since the beginning of training,” said Sgt. Justin K. Ortega, drill instructor, Platoon 1063, Co. D. “We were just waiting for him to break out of his shell, and he did in second phase when he became more vocal.”

During the first of three phases, Lovstuen was made the scribe — maintaining recruit records for the platoon — and then he was promoted to squad leader and finally guide.

Lovstuen is finalizing his meritorious performance in boot camp today graduating as the guide of his platoon, and he said he looks forward to the School of Infantry which is his next stop.

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