MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. --
Despite unplanned changes, Cpl. Wyatt Ray remained flexible and maintained a positive attitude while continuing to strive for his goals and is currently serving as a military policeman in the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point Provost Marshal’s Office.
Before joining the Marine Corps, Ray went to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he studied pre-law for two years with the goal of becoming a lawyer, but ultimately wanted more.
“Those were some of the best years of my life,” said Ray. “But I left because I got a little bored with college. I wanted to add some life experiences, and have a change of pace, and thought the Marine Corps could do that.”
Ray joined the Marine Corps to work with Military Working Dogs.
“Working with dogs was phenomenal,” said Ray. “I had two dogs who were both Belgian Malinois named MWD Bruno and MWD Alf. One was [trained in detecting] narcotics and one was explosives. They both had their own personalities and were great animals.”
Ray is now a desk sergeant for PMO at Cherry Point where he takes police information that is reported and communicates it to the appropriate personnel.
“I volunteered to do the desk,” said Ray. “I wanted to experience the life of the desk sergeant, and it’s definitely mentally straining. I like to be tested mentally and physically and this job tests me.”
“I love my job.”
There is no short supply of new experiences in Ray’s profession.
“It’s always changing,” said Ray. “That’s the fun thing about it. You are never going to go to work and experience the exact same thing you did before. Even if you have the same call to the same place, it’s going to be a different scenario.”
Ray draws his motivation from his parents and his friends.
“My parents instilled a lot of core values in me regarding honesty and who you are as a person,” said Ray. “If you remain honest to yourself and those around you, who you are is going to hold true and people are going to be able to rely on you more. If you approach each situation with a patient mind, then you’ll be able to step back, look at the whole picture and make a smart decision.”
Ray made his way into his current leadership position with that type of thinking and his work ethic. But even though he is in a position of leadership, he still shows everyone respect while expecting the most out of his Marines.
Although he interacts with his co-workers professionally, he also enjoys connecting with them on a personal level.
“It feels good when I can help someone on a personal level,” Ray said. “I don’t just want to help people on a Marine level. I want to help them be better as a person. I want them to see that they can be a better person.”
Ray applies that mindset in all aspects of his work, including during traffic stops.
“I try to educate people. We don’t go out and try to pull as many people over as we can and make other people’s lives harder. We want to inform people and keep everyone safe.”
“I’ve had multiple people shake my hand after a traffic stop and that hits home to me.”