Marine Corps Combat Engineer Builds His Future


MIHAIL KOGALNICEANU, Romania – For Cpl. Joshua Shelley, a combat engineer serving here with Black Sea Rotational Force 14, his decision to join the Marine Corps was easy.

His grandfathers had served in the military, the Lebanon, Ind., native said, and he wanted to be “the best of the best.”

“As far as being a Marine, trying to lead others is the hardest part,” Shelley said. “With my military occupational specialty, the hardest part is trying to stay proficient with everything I do.”

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Sophie Funderburk, the rotational force’s assistant logistics officer, said Shelley has many attributes that make him a special Marine.

“He is incredibly professional, well-spoken, and proficient in his military occupational specialty,” she said. “He’s a Marine that can get a task and will get it done, and it will be exactly what you were expecting. If it’s not, he’s a Marine that takes criticism and feedback really well.”

Shelley recently was chosen as Marine of the Week here.

“Overall, it feels pretty good,” he said. “I already had [someone] come up to me and tell me they were jealous about it. To have that kind of impact is pretty huge to me.”

Shelley deserves the recognition, Funderburk said.

”He’s been working really hard to build some things around the base,” she said. “He built a fence plan for us, and most recently he and another combat engineer finished up a shelter for a piece of communication equipment. He’s also really been stepping up as a noncommissioned officer, and stepping into that leadership role.”

Shelley said recognition programs such as Marine of the Week benefit the service members who receive them in important ways.

“It lets [them] know that they’re doing a good job, and that they’re doing what’s expected of them, and even above and beyond that,” he said. “It’s a good morale booster for Marines that deserve it. To be told you’re Marine of the Week is a huge deal.”

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