Part three: U.S. Marine Corps
By Alex Cordero
Our Military Appreciation Month series continues to feature local residents who have served or are serving our country. A common theme among our local heroes appears to be a natural impetus and desire to continue to serve in any way possible. The stories we feature are meant to impact our readers in ways that will make everyone truly appreciate the type of service these soldiers vow to do for our country, often beyond the call of duty.
Read More: Part 2
This week we recognize United States Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel and founder of Command Ready, Garth Massey. I had the opportunity to meet Massey at USC’s campus in Los Angeles after an event he was coordinating for young people between the ages of 16 and 20 to help them develop life skills to continue on the right track for a bright future. The event was a type of career/business networking event to give youths an opportunity to apply the type of simple life skills they have been learning since September of last year. “These kids are incredibly smart, [I] and other members of this program have been working with them; with educating them with simple life skills like: how to shake hands, learn how to look at people in the eye when they’re speaking to someone, and how to properly end a conversation in a networking environment.”
Massey, an Alaska native, joined the Marine Corps back in 1995 because of the types of leadership skills you can gain from becoming a Marine and also because as a Marine you can continue to pursue a civilian career or education while still serving. Massey explained the Marines is the “only service that does not require ROTC or military science classes prior to commissioning. You can apply and join with just a diploma. The Marines ‘groom’ you when you go to the six-month basic school and look to get as much diversity in their candidates as possible. People with different ideas that are taught common skills can increase innovation in combat something we pride ourselves in.”
Read More: Part 1
Massey is part of the Marine Infantry line of service and shared with me that being infantry is not all violence. “You know a lot of what we do is humanitarian work, nobody really gets to hear about all the humanitarian work we actually get to do while being deployed.” Massey has been deployed a few times and has been in places like Iraq and Africa. He shared that when he was in Africa, in places considered combat zones, he and his Marine brothers built schools and water mills for small African villages. “I wish that there would be more stories about all the different types of humanitarian work we get to do.”
Massey has been called for an assignment and will be traveling to Louisiana in the next few weeks. “If you’re called, you answer. That’s just the way it goes for me.”
Massey is the founder of Command Ready, a military leadership program designed to get people connected through leadership. The purpose of the program is to provide access to leadership skills and connect participants to different types of businesses to get them ready to take a career to the next level. He began this program 10 years ago with six members and now he has YouTube videos with hundreds of subscribers. He believes it is important to carry on and bring back valuable leadership skills to those that need it or want it and be able to have local and respectable businesses contribute to the process. For more information on this program please visit commandready.com.