Recruit Colten C. Sponseller, platoon 2142, Company G, 2nd
Recruit Training Battalion, applies camouflage paint to his face on
March 20, 2012, while on the crucible aboard Weapons and Field
Training Battalion, Camp Pendleton. Sponseller came to recruit
training hoping to gain experiences that would help guide him toward
his dream of becoming a U.S. senator. He has enlisted in the United
States Marine Corps Reserves for six years and plans to finish his
international relations degree at Utah Valley University. Photo by
Lance Cpl. Crystal Druery
SAN DIEGO (3/22/2012) - Everyone who earns the title “Marine” does
it for a different reason. For Recruit Colten C. Sponseller, platoon
2142, Company G, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, the Marine Corps is
one of the many stepping stones toward his dream of becoming a
senator. Sponseller said he believes the Marine Corps can help him
reach his dream by giving him an experience he wouldn't get anywhere
The Midland, Mich., native comes from a strong
religious family of six. His father, a former Marine, and mother
instilled patriotism and a love for the country while growing up.
This encouraged him to take part in government relations, which he
is now working toward in college.
At an early age, Sponseller
joined the Boy Scouts of America. He dedicated himself until he was
18 and earned the title of Eagle Scout, the highest rank in
"(The Boy Scouts of America) planted a seed of
patriotism and a sense of duty," said Sponseller.
graduating high school, Sponseller volunteered two years with his
church's missionary program in Europe. While abroad, he gained a new
respect for his own culture.
“I learned to appreciate and
value my own country and culture as I experienced the differences
other places had to offer,” said 22-year-old Sponseller.
returning home he began attending Utah Valley University, majoring
in international relations. He said was then selected to take the
Foreign Service Officer's exam, the first step in becoming a foreign
officer for the U.S. Department of State. With a desire to first
pursue a more hands-on learning experience and give back to his
country, Sponseller enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves for six
years, which will allow him to continue attending college.
“I wasn't really prepared for training the way I thought
I'd be,” said Sponseller. “I've been in many leadership
roles, but since (I've been) at recruit training I've
learned how to accept the leadership of others. I have to do
my best so no one else has to pay for my mistakes.”
With his mother always being a positive example of working
hard and devoting herself to any task and a father who
taught him to finish what he started, Sponseller came to recruit training with a
dedicated mindset. He made this clear to his fellow recruits
“We became close friends when he invited me
to his religious services on Sundays,” said recruit Cameron
Hutchison, Plt. 2142, Co. G, 2nd RTBn. “He's become someone
I can trust and confide in.”
Sponseller took on the
role of prayer leader during recruit training. Driven to
help others, he has devoted his time to helping others.
“We don't know how he does it, but every night he finds
a scripture related to what happened that day to keep us all
going and motivated,” said Hutchison.
As each recruit
gains confidence and matures through each phase. Sponseller
excelled in his leadership skills. His senior drill
instructor admitted he didn't notice Sponseller right away
because he wasn't a recruit that needed much help, but
excelled and helped other recruits to do the same.
“He's more mature than most of his fellow recruits,” said
Staff Sgt. Jonathon Arellano, senior drill instructor, Plt.
2142, Co. G, 2nd RTBn. “During second phase I started to
notice him more. He took it upon himself to help other
recruits whenever he could.”
Sponseller hopes to
share his beliefs and views with his fellow Marines by to
helping them in any way he can.
“My intention while
in the Marine Corps is to be a leader and have a positive
effect on my unit and the whole Marine Corps,” said
While he is still young, he hopes his
experiences pave a path in the direction of his dream of
being a senator. He plans to re-apply for the Foreign
Service Officer's exam and finish his degree in
“You never know what's down
the road,” said Sponseller, who will be graduating along
with Company G March 30.
By USMC Lance Cpl. Crystal Druery
Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego
Comment on this article