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A Marine's Journey To Her Dream Job
by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Terry Haynes
August 24, 2019

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of Aeronautics is the art or science involved with flight. Famous scientists and great thinkers such as Leonardo Da Vinci and the Wright brothers have long been involved with the study of flight.

U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Kylaine Rogers can now count herself among that special group that is invested in its study. Rogers graduated from Embry-Riddle University with her Masters degree in this unique field on May 17, 2019.

May 17, 2019 - Cpl. Kylaine Rogers, an avionics technician, gets sash placed on her by Tom Nance at her graduation aboard U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Nance is the assistant campus director for Embry-Riddle University's Beaufort Campus. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Terry Haynes)
May 17, 2019 - Cpl. Kylaine Rogers, an avionics technician, gets sash placed on her by Tom Nance at her graduation aboard U.S. Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. Nance is the assistant campus director for Embry-Riddle University's Beaufort Campus. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Terry Haynes)

Rogers, a native of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, has long aspired to have a career in the field of aviation and currently serves as an avionics technician with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115.

“I have always been interested in the military,” Rogers said. “When I originally enlisted I considered the Navy, because I did Navy JROTC but I wanted to try something new. Knowing myself, I knew I wanted to be a part of an organization that was going to push me and the Marine Corps was the one that ended up being the right fit for me.”

Her journey into the Marine Corps was filled with many winding paths and turns. After getting her bachelors degree in computer animation, she taught English in Japan for a few months and worked in sales back home before deciding to enlist in the Marine Corps. Though she already completed her bachelor’s degree and was eligible for a commission, Rogers ultimately decided that the enlisted route would be the best for her.

“The process to become an officer was kind of difficult,” Rogers said. “Originally, they wanted me to drive two hours away to attend a meeting which would’ve been difficult since I was still working at the time. My officer selection officer mentioned how he was formerly enlisted and that it may be the best route for me later on in my career.”

After boot camp, Rogers focused on her military occupation specialty training to become an avionics technician. Her focus was taken away from education for the time being, but not for very long.

May 29, 2019 - Cpl. Kylaine Rogers stands in front of an aircraft in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-115's hangar aboard Marine Corps Air Station. Rogers is an avionics technician with VMFA-115. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Terry Haynes)
May 29, 2019 - Cpl. Kylaine Rogers stands in front of an aircraft in Marine Fighter Attack Squadron-115's hangar aboard Marine Corps Air Station. Rogers is an avionics technician with VMFA-115. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Terry Haynes)

“Soon after I got to MCAS Beaufort I was sitting there trying to think of a way to stay productive in my off time,” said Rogers. “Nothing really caught my interest at first and then the idea of going back to school just kind of popped into my head.”

As she continues with her time here on MCAS Beaufort her future also holds some exciting new turns. Now that she has obtained her masters degree Rogers has submitted a package through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program to commission as an officer.

“I am actually going the Navy route this time,” Rogers joked. “After I applied I was selected to be an alternate for Aviation Duty Maintenance Officer which is the equivalent of an Aviation Maintenance Officer in the Marine Corps.”

“There’s always more than one option when it comes to continuing your education,” Rogers said. “Learning never ends. What’s important is what you do with that knowledge the rest of your life.”

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American Pride: Poems Honoring America and Her Patriots! by David G. Bancroft