Son Of Marine Earns NROTC Scholarship
by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Michelle Reif
Christian Tsirlis, former Lakeville South High School student and
2019 high school graduate, did not have the typical Minnesotan
Thanks to his dad’s military service, his childhood was unique,
full of adventure and travel to exotic lands.
While many teenagers might regret moving from town to town and
school to school every few years, Christian relished the opportunity
to gain new experiences and learn about new cultures. He was even
inspired to become something most Americans never will, an officer
in the United States Marine Corps.
Christian’s father enlisted into the Marine Corps before
Christian was even born. His father served in billets all across the
country and overseas. Christian always maintained a positive
attitude about every new place.
“Sure moving had its
challenges,” said Christian. “But I was always happy to meet
different people and have new experiences.”
It was during
these travels that Christian began to fall in love with the Marine
Corps. Growing up around men and women who were dedicated to serving
their country made Christian long to be a part of something bigger
than himself. While he carefully considered every branch before
coming to a decision, Christian always knew that he would follow in
his father’s footsteps and become a Marine.
“I believe that
the Marine Corps is the best and the most challenging,” Christian
said. “I want to be do something that challenges me every single
Serving in the military wasn’t his only dream.
He also knew that a college degree would set him on the right
path for success. It was because of this that Christian decided to
apply for the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship. The
$180,000 NROTC scholarship is a program that pays the cost of
tuition and housing expenses for those who earn the scholarship. The
students will go to the college of their choice and participate in
the NROTC program while enrolled. Upon graduation, they will
commission as Marine or Naval officers and serve on active duty.
July 7, 2020 - Lt. Col. Christopher Tsirlis presents his son, Christian, with the $180,000 Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship during his high school awards night in 2019. Christian earned the scholarship in 2019 after a rigorous and competitive application process. He proved he was worthy of the scholarship through his academic achievements and proven leadership abilities as the captain of his school football and track teams. He also demonstrated outstanding physical fitness abilities. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Michelle Reif)
Christian earned the scholarship in 2019 after a rigorous and
competitive application process. He proved he was worthy of the
scholarship through his academic achievements and proven leadership
abilities as the captain of his school football and track teams. He
also demonstrated outstanding physical fitness abilities.
is now a sophomore studying Information Technology at the University
of South Carolina.
“The ROTC program is great,” Christian
said. “It keeps you in shape, physically and mentally. You get to do
a lot more than the average college student and every day you go
home with a feeling of success and that you are a part of something
When asked what advice he would give to high school
juniors who are considering applying for the scholarship, Christian
said to apply even if you are unsure. This scholarship gives you the
opportunity to develop as a leader and as a person, he said. You
become part of a family.
What Christian is most looking
forward to about becoming a Marine Corps officer is the opportunity
to lead Marines.
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