NYPD Marine Serves In Afghanistan
(April 12, 2010)
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan-Cpl. Ryan F. O'Leary, data network specialist for G-6, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group (Forward), works as a police officer for the New York Police Department during his time as a Marine reservist for the 6th Communications Battalion of Brooklyn, N.Y. O'Leary, 28, from Sayville, N.Y., remembers his first arrest as if it has just happened yesterday. O'Leary chased down a robber on foot for three blocks before he made the arrest.
||CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (MCN -
4/7/2010) — He's a Marine reservist by day, a
crime fighter by night, and he does everything
he can to protect the people of New York City.
And now he's doing the same in Afghanistan.
Cpl. Ryan F. O'Leary, data network specialist
for G-6, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st
Marine Logistics Group (Forward), works as a
police officer for the New York Police
Department during his time as a Marine reservist
for the 6th Communications Battalion of
"I've been a police officer for two years in
South Jamaica, 103rd precinct, New York City,"
said O'Leary, 28, from Sayville, N.Y. "It's one
of the busiest precincts in New York City."
To become a police officer, there's a long
process that people must go through, O'Leary
explained. If they don't pass any one of these
steps, then they are kicked out of the police
academy. In order to sign up, applicants need to
have at least 60 college credits, or two years
of active duty military service. Then, they must
pass a written exam and go through a physical
agility test, which is similar to a Marine Corps
obstacle course. After that, they take a written
psychological test and then sit down with a
psychologist. Once they have passed everything,
they'll go through a background investigation.
"Since I have a secret clearance with the military, the process went very
quickly for me," said O'Leary. "The people that investigate you, they like
military guys because we're very disciplined and we're on time; we take pride in
Because of his military background, the academy made O'Leary the company
sergeant, who is in charge of 40 police academy recruits. The recruits come to
him for everything, and he works as a liaison between them and the instructors,
similar to a platoon sergeant.
"It works both ways, my training with the police department also helps me out
with the Marine Corps," O'Leary said. "We trained with the M-4 a lot. I feel
that I'm more aware of my surroundings and a lot more observant now that I'm a
cop, probably the little things that most normal people don't notice. I'm always
looking at people's hands and things like that, making sure they won't hurt me."
Growing up in a family of police officers and military members, O'Leary followed
the family footstep by joining the Marine Corps as a data network specialist. He
knew early on that he wanted to be a police officer.
"I never saw myself sitting behind a desk, so I wanted to do something
different. I've always knew that I wanted to become a police officer," O'Leary
said. "I don't really consider it work; it's very fun for me, and I enjoy the
At the 103rd precinct, people call them the "Queens Marines" because a lot of
Marines work there, O'Leary said. They wear an eagle, globe and anchor under
their badge to show camaraderie. They take pride in the things they do, he said.
O'Leary remembers his first arrest as if it has just happened yesterday.
"It was my second day at work, I was on a foot patrol," O'Leary said. "My
partner and I saw someone was trying to rob a high school kid for a cell phone.
It was a foot pursuit; we chased him for about three blocks and caught him."
Being a Marine and a police officer, it tends to take a toll on his family life,
as O'Leary doesn't get to see his wife very often, he said, especially when his
shift is from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. It's the busiest shift because that's when the
majority of crimes occur, he said.
"Being away from the family, especially on a deployment, it's tough on
everyone's family," O'Leary said. "My wife, she doesn't like it, but we were
married from my first deployment in 2007, so she's used to it. She knew before
we got married that this was my life, so she accepts it."
O'Leary is on military leave of absence with the NYPD so he could deploy with
CLR-17, 1st MLG (FWD). Once his tour here is over, he plans to return to New
York where he'll continue to do what he does best: protect the people as a
police officer, but first and foremost, as a Marine.
Article and photo by USMC LCpl. Khoa Pelczar
1st Marine Logistics Group (FWD)
Marine Corps News
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