There have been few experiences in my life that have been as rewarding as the time I spent serving in the Unites States Marine Corps.

As today (November 11th, 2022), is the 247th birthday of America's 911 force, I've spent the day reminiscing of my service time. I made friendships... no, brotherhoods, that broke all racial barriers. One of the first things my drill instructors instilled in my platoon was that there was no other color but green. Maybe different shades, but we had to put all our trust in our fellow Marines. We had to be ready to put our life on the line for not just the country, but also our brothers.

The comradery between us was and is unmatched. Even to this day, and I've been out of active duty service for over 20 years, if I see another devil dog, jarhead, leatherneck (or any of the many nicknames for Marines), I don't hesitate to speak, no matter if their 30 years my senior or 15 years younger.

I signed up through the delayed entry program in 1993 and left for boot camp on May 30th, 1995, at the tender age of eighteen. I was nothing more than a know-it-all-kid, that really knew very little about the real world. When I landed at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego (MCRD), I had no idea what was in store for me. After completing the mentally and physically challenging 13-week program, I was no longer the boy from Casper, Wyoming, who had migrated to Flint, Michigan, but I was now a lean, green fighting machine.

DJ Nyke - USMC 1995
DJ Nyke - Townsquare Media

I was meritoriously promoted to the rank of Private First Class (PFC) upon graduation. I then went on to the 4-week Marine Combat Training Battalion at Camp Pendleton, California, before moving on to my MOS schooling at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

DJ Nyke - USMC Boot Camp Graduation 1995
DJ Nyke - Townsquare Media

Over my 4 years of active duty service, I literally had the chance to see the world, even spending a year overseas, being stationed in Okinawa, Japan (which is where I picked up deejaying as a hobby).

From being stationed in our nation's capitol, to being on ship for weeks at a time, were you can literally see nothing but the ocean, one thing is for sure, I wouldn't trade that time of my life for anything. The Marine Corps helped mold me into the man I am to this day.

So happy 247th birthday to all my fellow Marines! Ooh-rah! Semper fidelis!

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