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From student to sergeant

Claire Martinez

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Sienna Gordon, sophomore psychology major, is both nervous and excited to attend Marine Corps Officer Candidates School this summer. Photo credit: Claire Martinez

Figuring out how to serve one’s country while still working toward a college degree may seem tricky. But this dream may become a reality for one Chico State student.

On February 12, Sienna Gordon, sophomore psychology major, applied to Marine Corps Officer Candidates School.

Fast forward to today, Gordon is mentally and physically preparing herself to spend a week of her summer vacation in Virginia to complete the first part of her military training to become a Marine Corps officer.

Through an extensive application process, Gordon was required to acquire six specific recommendations from personnel including mentors, professors and employers as well as successfully pass a physical fitness test.

“You need to have a GPA of 2.0 or above, complete a three mile run, 100 sit ups in two minutes and a 70-second flex arm hang for females,” Gordon said.

This summer she will travel to Marine Corps Base Quantico for training. Next summer, she will complete the second and final half of her six-week long training process.

Although she understands how demanding and challenging the experience is going to be, she isn’t letting her nerves get in the way of her eagerness, she said.

“I’m very nervous,” Gordon said, “But I am so excited that I got the opportunity to go to Marine Corps OCS. People apply to this program from all over the United States.”

Gordon previously attended a mini OCS that acted as an introduction to what the real OCS would be like.

“We had real sergeant instructors who treated us exactly how they are going to treat us in OCS,” Gordon said.

To clear up any confusion, Gordon is not enlisting in the Marines— she is going the officer route, which requires a college degree. Although not enlisting, she is continuing to follow close in her parents’ footsteps, she said.

“My mom and dad were both enlisted in the Marine Corps, so it’s always been a dream of mine to serve my country,” Gordon said. “I did not enlist because my parents both instilled in me the importance of getting a college degree, so going into the Marine Corps as an officer is a great opportunity.”

During her military training, Gordon will be making money to help with the expenses of living away from home while she attends Chico State, she said.

“I plan to pay my rent when I get back with the money that I get,” Gordon said.

As the young Yuba City native pursues her journey to become a Marine Corps officer, she will still continue her education at Chico State.

“I’ve always wanted to serve my country, but I also knew that I wanted a college degree,” Gordon said. “To become an officer in the Marine Corps you need a college degree. This officer program is an amazing opportunity.”

Claire Martinez can be reached at [email protected] or @xoclaire_ on Twitter.

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