Photo Information

Brennan McLean, a law candidate with Recruiting Station Orange County, poses for a photo in Irvine, California, on Jan. 13, 2021. McLean is currently in his last year of school before taking the bar examination, and will be attending Officer Candidate School this summer. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Sgt. Sarah Ralph)

Photo by Sgt. Sarah Ralph

Battling Adversity, Law Candidate Striving to Be Better

13 Jan 2021 | Sgt. Sarah Ralph 12th Marine Corps District

Life can sometimes take a turn we weren’t expecting. For Brennan McLean, that turn happened early starting in high school. At just 17 years old, Brennan dropped out of high school because he lost all motivation and direction. His parents, although wanting to be supportive, grew concerned with the circumstance McLean found himself in.

It took roughly two years after dropping out before Brennan decided to get his General Education Degree and started working in construction. He opened up his own construction company while maintaining a full-time job working under a contractor. Once his business was producing enough work, he ran it full time for five years. Due to the economy slowing and jobs becoming less and less, Brennan decided to close shop and move north to Oregon.

With the support of his family, McLean applied and was accepted to the University of Oregon where he received a bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in finance. After receiving his bachelor’s, Brennan moved back down to his hometown in Irvine, California, to attend Chaplin University where he is currently attending school in order to receive his degree in law.

“The part I love most about law is that it has such a large spectrum,” says Brennan. “You can choose to be as specific or broad as you want to be.”

Law was not always what Brennan desired to do for a living, but after receiving a variety of books from his uncle, David Pimentel, he was hooked.

“I genuinely just wanted to know how things worked,” says McLean. “After reading more political based books and owning my own business, it all just drew me in.”

McLean grew up around the military lifestyle due to his father being a part of the United States Army and working with the Army Corps of Engineers. He would constantly tag along with his father when he would go to work at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California. McLean explained that he spent more time around Marines than Soldiers growing up, regardless of his dad’s job.

This past year McLean started the process to become a part of the United States Marine Corps’ Judge Advocate General Program. At first, McLean was a little hesitant about potentially becoming a Marine due to being 32 years old, but did not want that to be the reason holding him back.

“My family is extremely supportive of me,” says McLean. “My mom always told me I could be more.”

When looking back McLean originally thought he would do everything like every other average high school student by finishing school, going straight to college then on to a nine-to-five job. Now when looking to attend Officer Candidate School this summer, Brennan is both excited and anxious for what is to come.

“My goal constantly is to be better,” explains McLean. “It’s become a weird personal thing that I have with myself. I feel like I didn’t live up to my potential in my 20’s. So now, I make sure to live every day to the best of my abilities.”

Even through the struggles of facing uncertainty at a young age and not necessarily having a designated path in life, McLean has overcome adversity, and has grown to be a stronger person mentally and physically. Brennan is now on track to become a part of the United States Marine Corps, and is set to take the bar examination this coming year.

“Life is about battling adversity,” say McLean. “People who are most successful are those who have overcome life struggles.”

  • Menu Item

Unit News