GREECE, N.Y. — Many kids dream of careers such as astronauts, athletes, scientists, actors — fields that hold a call to adventure — but as they grow older, they forgo these passions and choose careers far from their original plan. This almost happened to one Hilton woman, who as a child wanted to be a Marine.
A year ago, Marine Corps Marine Pfc. Dayle M. Taber, was a student at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, seeking an associate’s degree in liberal arts. She had a lot of reasons to continue down the path her life was taking. Taber played outside hitter for the college’s volleyball team where she was ranked second for points in Division III of the National Junior College Athletic Association. She had a B average and family living nearby to support her.
However, when Marine Corps recruiter Sgt. Darnell Ross called her in March 2015, Taber’s childhood goal of becoming a United States Marine resurfaced.
“I remember getting a call from Sergeant Ross one day, and he talked to me about the Marines,” Taber said. “As we were talking, it reminded me of the elementary school kid I once was and the goal I set of becoming a Marine. In the past, I had talked to the other [military service] branches and saw what they had to offer, but the Marines offered me discipline and structure. I remember wanting a purpose. I wanted control of my future.”
Ross, a canvassing recruiter with Recruiting Substation Rochester, has the task of seeking out the most mentally, morally and physically tough young men and women in the Rochester area.
“Recruiting qualified individuals isn’t easy,” Ross said. “Finding young qualified women to become Marines is even harder. When a Marine like Taber joins the service, she’s a select few among the few and a special type of leader.”
If It Was Easy, It Wouldn’t Be the Marines
That August, Taber went all-in on her dream and raised her right hand to support and defend the Constitution at the Military Entrance Processing Station in Buffalo, New York. She spent the following months going to school until deciding to leave early for boot camp, Jan. 4, 2016.
“It was an intense time and I’m happy it’s over,” Taber said. “If boot camp was easy, it wouldn’t be the Marines.”
Taber graduated April 1 as a squad leader from Platoon 4011, November Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, after spending three months proving herself worthy of the title of United States Marine.
“I was so emotional seeing her for the first time in three months,” said Karen Taber, Dayle’s mother. “She’s definitely come home different. Her respect and the higher standard that she expects of herself and others is there. Also, it’s apparent in the way she carries herself and takes pride in being a Marine.”
Before attending Marine Combat Training at Marine Corps Base Camp Geiger, North Carolina, Taber supported recruiters in Rochester on recruiting assistance. During her time with the recruiting station, she shared her boot camp experience with future female Marines in the Delayed Entry Program.
Taber’s career lies ahead of her. How she leaves her mark, where she travels and what she accomplishes is up to her. Whether she serves for five or 25 years, the title of U.S. Marine is hers, and like the title, her accomplishments can never be taken away.