San Diego -- Pfc. Marcus J. Hamilton Platoon 2145, Company G, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, has carried on his family legacy by enlisting in the Marine Corps. He is now the third Marine in his family.
Though now a Marine, he was not always on the right path. He dropped out of high school to leave his family home and spend his time with people on the street. Finally, he became tired of the street lifestyle and moved back in with his parents.
"My childhood was kind of hard. I was on the street a lot and would not have anywhere to stay," said Marcus. "I was doing stupid things: fighting and hanging out with the wrong crowd."
Needing a drastic lifestyle change, Marcus, decided to finish high school. According to Marcus, during his first attempt, he would always get in trouble and had problems concentrating in school. However, hard work and commitment to his goal paid off, he graduated high school.
Marcus then began working on a college degree, but according to him, he knew college wasn't for him.
He turned to his two brothers for advice. One a captain and the other a sergeant in the Marine Corps. They both had an influence in guiding Marcus in the same path as them.
"He had the potential to do great things and still does right now. You want to be dependable, someone people can count on," said Capt. Harold C. Hamilton. "The advice I've given Marcus is to be authentically himself and not allow detractors to dampen his spirits."
Marcus remembers all the advice his brothers gave him. Looking up to their example and competitiveness, he joined the Marine Corps.
"They always talked to me. They would tell me I needed to take care of business," said Marcus, a New Orleans native. "They didn't want me to fail in life and end up in jail."
The 21-year-old is on a different path since his teenage years. Even though Marcus has a quiet demeanor, people notice he has the traits of a leader in him.
"He was a very smart but also reserved, he would open up once he got to know you as time would progress," said Harold. "Very deep but deceptive, people are thrown off by his charm and he is very popular and his friends still look to him as a leader."
One of Marcus' drill instructor noticed his leadership abilities.
"He has a personality people gravitate toward and has a strong influence in his peers. That is why I placed him in a leadership billet as a squad leader," said Staff Sgt. Jason H. Scott, senior drill instructor, Plt. 2145, Co. G, 2nd RTBn. "He is going to go far because people who go through adversity, who are given a second chance, always prove themselves."
With recruit training completed, Hamilton is continuing to setting himself up for success by establishing personal goals.
"I'm really competitive, I would like to rank up quickly and just be better than they are," said Marcus. "I want to progress faster than they did; it's my goal."
Marcus now gets the opportunity to show his family, his two brothers in particular, that he can handle his business. After earning the title "Marine," Marcus now moves on to other harder, bigger challenge as he continues his family journey in the United States Marine Corps.