One Marine’s views and past experiences have shaped the way he lives his everyday life, in and out of his Marine Corps uniform.
Cpl. Ryan Sargent decided to enlist in the Marine Corps because he comes from a long lineage of Marines, most of whom deployed overseas during the Vietnam and Korean Wars.
Sargent is a firefighter with Aircraft, Rescue and Firefighting on Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, where he has been stationed for over 3 years. Before becoming a firefighter in the Marine Corps, Sargent was a firefighter in Massachusetts.
Sargent said hard work is something that he has never shied away from.
“I come from a family of seven brothers and three sisters. I have worked since I was 8 years old to help put food on the table. That’s how we grew up.”
Now a Marine, Sargent has maintained the same work ethic he learned as a child Marine. Marine firefighters have a range of day-to-day duties and responsibilities.
“In the morning, we [inspect] the trucks and equipment and make sure everything is operational,” said Sargent. “The rest of the day I help the Marines below me if they need, and in the evenings we do training and classes.”
On top of a full schedule, Sargent is also working on getting his Emergency Medical Technician certification to add to his skills as a firefighter.
“Getting my EMT certification will help me as a civilian if I do decide to get out of the Marine Corps,” said Sargent. “I work on it whenever I have free time.”
Sargent has taken away many lessons and experiences from mentors and senior leaders he has worked with while in the Marine Corps.
“I’ve seen a lot of good leaders,” said Sargent. “I learned from them that you have to be able to follow, as well. You learn as a follower and from the leaders that you have had before.”
Sargent says that he puts himself in the shoes of his junior Marines to better understand where they are coming from.
“They respect me and I respect them,” said Sargent.
“If I ask them to do something, I know that they will do it to their highest ability because I have taught them my standard,” said Sargent. “
Sargent credits his success in life to his mother and the advice she gave him growing up.
“She told me not to be afraid to mess up,” said Sargent. “Whether it was construction, landscaping, or anything I was doing – I always asked questions and that’s how I learned. That’s because of her.”
“I live by a code,” said Sargent. “Have a strong sense of loyalty. Have respect for the people around you and they will respect you. Have pride. These are the biggest things that stuck around in our family.”
Sargent stressed to institute these beliefs not just in the Marine Corps, but in everyday life.
“Have pride. If you are a janitor, sweep the floor as well as you can.”