First Lt. Michael Cooley, a platoon commander serving with Mobility Assault Company, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, walks with his son, Isaac, during a hike at Caspers Wilderness Park, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., May 18, 2013. While 1st CEB is training deploy to Afghanistan during the fall, Cooley, a native of Algonquin, Ill., devotes much of his free time to Scouting. Growing up Cooley's father was his den leader, now Cooley is a den leader for his son. (U.S. Marne Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan)
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – From core values to outdoor skills, Boy Scouts and Marines have much in common.
A platoon commander serving with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion uses the Boy Scout values and skills he was raised by to lead Marines today.
Growing up as a Scout, 1st Lt. Michael Cooley was taught the values of good conduct, respect and honesty. As the years went on, he learned lifelong lessons in outdoor skills, first aid, proper manners and citizenship skills.
Cooley started Scouting when he was in kindergarten. Unlike many of his peers, he chose to continue Scouting and became an Eagle Scout when he was in high school. Even when he was in college, he volunteered at a local troop as an assistant scoutmaster.
“The things I like most about the scouts is being outdoors,” said Cooley, a native of Algonquin, Ill. “I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing and shooting weapons. Also, we take the core values we learn growing up as a Scout and take them with us into the community and into the Marine Corps.”
Before he joined the Corps, Cooley felt a void after being involved with Scouts for so long. After he enlisted, he felt he had filled that void by becoming part of a brotherhood and something greater than himself.
“I come from a long line of family in the military from World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam,” Cooley said. “The transition of going from high school to the Marine Corps was kind of easy for me because I grew up with a structured life.”
After serving as an enlisted Marine since 2000, Cooley felt the need to lead at a different capacity and commissioned as a second lieutenant during 2010.