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Miguel Santos, a future Marine with Recruiting Sub-Station Fullerton, Recruiting Station Orange County, decided back in January of 2021 that he wanted to make a change in his life. Since January, Santos has lost over 50 pounds and has been working hard throughout the year in order to lose weight and be in better shape for recruit training. Santos will be heading to Marine Corps Recruit Depot in January, where all of his hard work and dedication will be showcased during training.

Photo by Sgt. Sarah Ralph

Grit, Determination and Dedication: Young Man’s Journey Preparing for the Marine Corps

22 Oct 2021 | Sgt. Sarah Ralph 12th Marine Corps District

Miguel Santos, a 20 year old Anaheim native started his journey preparing for the Marine Corps in January of 2021. His close friend Nicholas Porter, a future Marine with Recruiting Sub-Station Fullerton, Recruiting Station Orange County, was attending physical training as a guest when he invited Santos to come along with him one Thursday afternoon.

When Santos first attended Fullerton’s training he already had some interest in the Military, but had not taken the time off work to truly focus on that route.

“After attending a few training sessions, I sat down with Staff Sgt. McIntyre”, the station commander for Recruiting Sub-Station Fullerton, Recruiting Station Orange County, “to discuss potential options of becoming a Marine,” says Santos.

The only thing that stood in Santos' way from becoming a part of the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program was his weight. He came into the office weighing in at 260 pounds, which made him 80 pounds overweight per the Marine Corps standards. However with this new opportunity in his horizon, Santos was not to be deterred from his new goal in life, becoming a United States Marine.

“Growing up I’ve always struggled with my weight and have been on the heavier side,” explains Santos. The Marine Corps was my catalyst for wanting to lose weight.”

Losing weight was not just for the Marine Corps but also his future career. The perfect mixture for him to focus his grit, determination and dedication on improving himself.

Santos chose the Marine Corps because of how small the branch is in comparison to other military entities.

“It seemed to feel more like a family environment rather than just business relations, says Santos.

He saw the Marine Corps as a challenge that he knew would lead him to becoming the best version of himself and felt he wouldn’t get that feeling anywhere else.

Currently, Santos is weighing in at 185 pounds, and is still striving to lose more weight even though he’s now within Marine Corps' weight standards. He’s found passion in fitness and wants to be as prepared as possible for recruit training at the Depot in San Diego. He still has three months before going down to recruit training and is desiring a job in uniform.