The Guide: A Future Marine's First Step Towards Becoming a Leader

13 Jan 2022 | Sgt. Sarah Ralph 12th Marine Corps District

Oscar Medina has always been on a path to greatness while serving others. Medina is a Garden Grove native and lived there until middle school when his parents sent him to boarding school because of internal conflicts. He grew up in a strict Catholic home and was faced with adversity when telling his family that he was gay. Being sent to boarding school only led Medina to becoming more independent.

Oscar came back after high school, and attended school for one year in Buena Park. During his time at school, he had an encounter with a Marine Corps recruiter that left an impact on him. One year later, Staff Sgt. Alexander Morales, a recruiter with Recruiting Sub-Station Fullerton, Recruiting Station Orange County, called Medina to ask him how things were going for him and what his plans for the future were. From that moment on, Medina decided that service in the Marine Corps seemed like a perfect opportunity.

“I have always felt a calling to do more and to help others,” says Medina. “I’ve always taken up jobs or volunteered for things that help others. I was a lifeguard for a few years, and then moved on to become a personal trainer to assist those who want to make a change.”

After facing a long hearty process of trying to get into the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, Medina was able to swear in his oath on August 9, 2021.

Once Medina became a part of the RSS Fullerton Pool, he saw that there was a bit of disorganization among his fellow future Marines. He sought to make a difference and stepped up to request becoming the Guide. The Guide is a leadership role and responsible for maintaining discipline and order amongst the Pool of future Marines at the RSS.

“I became Guide because I saw what needed to be fixed and took control,” says Medina. “I love having the ability to lead and push those around to become better.”

He has held the billet since mid-August and will have it until he ships for recruit training on October 18, 2021. Medina plans to carry on the leadership role into training if he can manage it, but also wants to strive to get Honorman, the top-performing recruit.

The only flicker of concern Medina has going into the Marine Corps is the fact that he is older than the majority of the young men and women who decide to join. At twenty-six years old he is almost eight years older than most who enlist.

“The biggest worry I have is coming in with people so much younger,” says Medina. “It is much harder to motivate young people. I see it here in the DEP when we have strenuous workouts that some give up so easily on themselves.”

Medina plans to have a career in avionics in the Marine Corps, and is looking forward to seeing the world while simultaneously helping others.

“The one thing I would tell people is to always do what makes you happy,” says Medina. “If it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it. People can give you all the advice they want, but don’t let people dictate your choices.”

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