Mike is a veteran of the Marine Corps, where he served in the reserves and on active duty, including a stint in Iraq. I sat down with Mike recently to get his story. Here’s what he had to say.
CLAYTON: At what age did you know you wanted to be in the military?
MIKE: I’ve always admired anyone that served. I never thought growing up that I was going to join any service. My goal was always to go to college and get a job. After my freshman year of college, I had a few buddies who were joining; one was joining the Army and the other the Navy. I was riding along with them and started talking to the Marine recruiter.
CLAYTON: What year was this?
MIKE: 2004. I started talking to the Marine recruiter, and the next thing you know, come springtime, I was on an airplane down to Parris Island. It made sense to me to do that. I liked the message, and I obviously liked the Marine Corps over the other two branches. And to spite my friends, I joined the Marines. I’ve had family in all of the branches though.
CLAYTON: Did you stay in college or drop out when you joined the Marines?
MIKE: I stayed in school. Originally I joined the Reserves and was in a program in school. I was playing baseball in college and didn’t want to give that dream up yet of being a pro athlete. So I joined the Reserves in the summer of 2005. I came back and went to school and drilled during the weekends once a month. The next summer I went to combat school and came back to college again. That’s when I got orders for active duty and fell in love with the lifestyle. I was on orders for the next three years. I was in Fresno and Cherry Point (that’s where we trained until our deployment to Iraq in ‘09).
CLAYTON: Were you in the Reserves and on orders for active duty, or were you fully transferred to active duty?
MIKE: No, I was in the Reserves on active duty orders. I was getting orders 362 days at a time.
CLAYTON: What was your MOS (Military Occupational Specialty)?
MIKE: Originally I was an O151, which is an administrative clerk. I worked directly for the adjutant. As my career moved on, I moved more toward personnel clerk, which includes orders writing, promotion, pay, and travel – all that kind of stuff.
CLAYTON: How long were you in Iraq?
MIKE: I was there for a short tour. About 112 days. Our mission was, we were the last boots on the ground. We needed to get all of the gear out of there. We shut down Marine Wing Operations at Al Asad and two other bases.
CLAYTON: Where were those in relation to Baghdad?
MIKE: They were east of Baghdad.
CLAYTON: So what was your role in the decommissioning of the bases and the Marines on them?
MIKE: I got all the orders, travel documents, all travel arrangements. I was the NCOIC (non-commissioned officer in charge). At one point there were so many reservists being deployed at once that they couldn’t get through the paperwork, and I had to go back to Kansas City to help get it all organized.
CLAYTON: How has your military experience helped you in civilian life?
MIKE: Oh, tremendously. I don’t have a security background or education (I’m working on a degree in social studies), but since I was in the Marines, I was able to get a security internship here. I’ve been here since.
CLAYTON: What is a typical day like on the Security team?
MIKE: Hectic. Always changing. Our typical day is never typical. We handle security and parking. When someone calls from one of our lots on the intercom, it comes to us. We create all of the access badges for all team members and Family of Companies team members, coast to coast. We also do the badges for any of our building tenants. Any key requests for offices or desks come through us. Our team also handles a lot of investigations, executive protection and event security. It just depends on the day.
CLAYTON: Sounds good. Thanks for the interview and thanks for you service. By the way, do you have a VA loan?
MIKE: Yes I do. No money down. That’s a simple choice. Plus, I think I earned it.
CLAYTON: There you go. Thank you again.
I’d personally like to thank Mike for his service and congratulate him on his three successful years on the Quicken Loans Security team. Look for his posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages when interesting information for veterans and military comes up. We’ll be featuring other veteran team members in the future. If you’re a veteran and would like information on a great career at Quicken Loans, go to QuickenLoansCareers.com.
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