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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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Recruiting CO will do anything to make mission

By SSgt. Bryce Piper | | December 15, 2001

SIXTH MARINE CORPS DISTRICT, PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. -- In the cut-throat recruiting world, where Marines can go 'from hero to zero' in a matter of days, just how far will a commanding officer go to make mission?  Recruiting Station Montgomery Commanding Officer Major Mark E. Costello found out when he swore in his only son, Daniel J. Costello, in a ceremony here recently.

Actually, enlisting in the Marine Corps Reserve was his own idea, said 17-year-old Daniel.

"I knew I had to get plans set in stone," Daniel said.  "That was the big thing.  If a scholarship wasn't going to work out, then absolutely the Marines were the way to go.   My grandfather was a Marine, my dad's a Marine, and they did well."

Growing up in the Costello home, son of an enlisted Marine who became an officer, certainly had its influence, Daniel said.

"I met quite a few different people," said Daniel.  "We moved around almost my whole high school career.  It was good to meet new people here and there.  I don't know how I'd explain it, but I'd say my dad helped me out a lot."

Daniel said he hopes the Marine Corps will outline his life, instilling in him intangible values and leadership traits and principles.

"It's supposed to change everybody for the better," said Daniel.  "I see it working out well."

For his part, Major Costello said his strong beliefs for the Corps and its values made him proud of his son's decision.

"I believe in the institution," said Major Costello.  "If I didn't, I wouldn't have given up my adult life to it.  I know that any young man can benefit from the Marine Corps.  Every challenging obstacle that we overcome in life is a character building evolution.  The greater our character, the greater our chances of being successful in life. Parris Island is an outstanding character building evolution," he said.

"The foundation of discipline, the instilling of intestinal fortitude, and grasping the concept of Honor, Courage, and Commitment, will lead any young man or woman to a successful life," Major Costello continued.  "Whether you serve four years or 40 years, that pride of belonging to an organization of this caliber is unmatched anywhere in our society."

"Regardless of what path through life my son chooses, this will be a great beginning," said Major Costello.  "I was very conscious of not pushing the Corps upon my son, I knew deep down it had to be completely his decision ... but he chose wisely," he said.
With Daniel now enlisted, where will RS Montgomery find next month's mission maker?  Major Costello has a few saved rounds.

"Even though I did not pursue my son for the Corps," said Major Costello.  "Any of his high school buddies who visited the house were fair game.  If any visiting young man made the mistake of showing an interest in my daughter, they knew that they would be on the first bus to (Parris Island).  Bottom line:  I sacrificed my first born son to accomplish the mission ... but I am saving my daughter for (the winter offensive)."

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