When Cpl. Callahan Brown sees an opportunity to do something, she takes it. Brown is an adjutant for Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26 on Marine Corps Air Station New River and is taking as many chances as she can to become anything she puts her mind to.
March 3, 2017 - Cpl. Callahan Brown sits atop an aircraft that’s undergoing maintenance at Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26 on Marine Corps Air Station New River. Brown is currently a full time student at Coastal Carolina Community College and plans to commission to become an officer when she becomes a sergeant or completes her degree. Brown is the adjutant for MALS 26. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Juan Madrigal)
Brown joined the Marine Corps because she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps of military service, who retired as a colonel in the Air Force.
"I wanted to join the Marine Corps just so I would own all of my accomplishments. My dad always has a joke around November. I say, ‘Dad I’m super excited about the Marine Corps Ball’ and he says ‘Wait, Marines have balls?’"
Brown joined the Marine Corps in 2013 and became the company honor graduate, company Iron Man for her physical fitness scores and received the Molly Marine award for exemplifying what it means to be a Marine.
After boot camp, Brown volunteered to go to Infantry Training Battalion East instead of Marine Combat Training. She passed the basic infantry course and while in her military occupation specialty school she was given the opportunity to participate in a yearlong study to see how women would fare compound to men in infantry skills with Ground Combat Element Integrated Task Force.
"It was a very humbling experience," said Brown. "The majority of the Marines in the course have combat action ribbons and were in various operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was something I’m happy I was able to complete without any injuries and do early on in my career."
Brown checked in with her current unit in 2015 and met the command along with everyone she’d be working with.
"I met Cpl. Brown in June of 2015 when she checked into the unit," said Sgt. Maj. Willie Edens, Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 26. "She was aggressive, she had a real go-getter attitude one hundred percent. At that point in time, I’m thinking alright, let’s see how this works out. A lot of people show up to the fleet, they have that kind of aggressive attitude and somehow or another they lose a little bit of it, and they have to regain it, but she never lost the fire, wanting more information upfront. I was hoping to see her eventually make it to this point, but I didn’t see it happening in the beginning."
Brown eventually caught the attention of her leaders and was assigned to be the adjutant for MALS-26.
Brown was promoted to corporal Mar. 1. She’s enjoyed her time on the command deck and all the experiences that come with it.
"It’s an admin job but I like it up here because it’s different. I’m able to see this bigger picture that being a lance corporal at the time working on the birds I never got to experience, so a lot of the things we deal with makes sense now up here because I see now how it falls down."
Brown plans to go through the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program if she becomes a sergeant before gets her degree. If she gets her degree first then she’ll go through the Enlisted Commissioning Program. Brown is currently going to Coastal Carolina Community College as a full-time student, working at Cracker Barrel on the weekends to help pay for the cost.
"I think that Cpl. Brown is going to be one of those that will continue to carry that torch and inspire others to be trailblazers like herself," said Edens. "I’m honored that my last year out of thirty years in the Marine Corps I had a chance to actually work with her."
By U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Juan Madrigal
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