JOINT BASE McGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. – Josiah Ortiz, aka “The
Tank,” from Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, N.Y., has dreamed
of joining the military as a force recon Marine since he was in the
Josiah Ortiz, a cadet on the Raider Team from the Fort Hamilton
High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps program, collects
his thoughts before his last team event during the 2013 Raider
Challenge at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, N.J., May 11, 2013.
Ortiz joined the JROTC program and the Raider Team at his high
school because he hopes to one day become a force recon Marine in
the Marine Corps. He feels that the experiences and life skills he
has gained will make him not only a better Marine, but also a better
citizen and father one day. (Army National Guard photo by Sgt.
When he transitioned from junior high to high school, he
set into motion the foundation blocks for that dream to come
true by joining the Fort Hamilton Junior Reserve Officer
Training Corps program – and he's been looking toward his
goal ever since.
“The reason I joined JROTC was
because in my career I want to be a force recon Marine, but
I would not have joined the JROTC program if it was not for
the Raider Team,” Ortiz said. “I joined so I can physically
challenge myself and find my limits physically and mentally,
that way I can push myself and achieve my goals later on in
life – so far its been working out pretty well.”
Oritz said he
was also drawn to the closeness and family of the Rader
“Each one of them I consider my family, my
brothers in arms and I would do anything for them,” he said.
“It's a good feeling to see everyone together and trying
their best [to achieve] their goals. That's what makes me
happy and makes me enjoy being in the JROTC program.
“They are some of the best friends that I've ever had, and I
wouldn't trade any of them for anything,” he said.
Since he joined JROTC and the Raider Team at Fort Hamilton,
Ortiz has noticed changes within himself.
strength definitely [increased] and I feel as if I am more
social,” Ortiz said. “I like sticking with the team and like
I said before it is very family orientated so that's one
thing that I really get out of it.”
His father, Pete
Ortiz, has noticed that the younger Ortiz's focus is more
solid thanks to the Raider Team.
“He takes the
Raider Team very, very seriously and he holds it near and
dear to his heart,” said Pete Ortiz.
“In that aspect
it gives him a sense of responsibility and of commitment and
with the leadership qualities of the program, he seems to be
more attuned to wanting to do purposeful things in his
life,” he said.
That commitment and drive has spilled
over into Josiah Ortiz's personal life. In addition to his
rigorous JROTC schedule and exercise program, he studies
Muay Thai and plays football.
But it's his future
that he's still got his eyes on. Josiah Ortiz plans to
complete a four-year selective contract with the Marine
Corps after high school and then enroll in the State
University of New York Maritime College to major in marine
transportation or mechanical engineering.
there, I'll [enroll] in the Navy ROTC program and use the
Marine Corps transfer option to go back to the Corps and
commission as an officer and make a career out of it,” he
Josiah Ortiz said support and guidance from his
parents enables him to focus on his goals and continue with
his dream of one day joining the Corps.
“They give me
whatever I need, and they have always supported me no matter
what I needed,” he said.
It's an example that he
hopes to take with him and invest in his own family some
“I want to be as big an impact in their lives as
my parents were in mine,” Josiah said.
By Army National Guard Sgt. Darron Salzery
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