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South Korean's Journey To Becoming U.S. Marine
by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Sarah Ralph
January 13, 2021

Jung Hyun Ahn was born on May 6, 1999, in Seoul, South Korea. His parents Jaeyoung and Jiyeon, welcomed their second son into this world with joy and excitement for this next chapter in their lives. Jung grew up with two older siblings, his brother Se Hyun Ahn and his sister Ji Hyun Ahn. Jung was not always around his siblings throughout the years due to them attending boarding school in London.

Jung Hyun Ahn, a poolee with Recruiting Sub-Station Culver City, Recruiting Station Orange County, at the Santa Monica Pier, California on January, 6, 2020. Ahn was hand selected as Recruiting Station Orange County’s Poolee of the Quarter because although he is not a Marine yet, he embodies our Corps values... honor, courage, commitment. He will being wearing the Marine uniform later in 2021 during the summer. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Sarah Ralph)In 2007, Jung’s parents decided they wanted him to attend a boarding school in the United Kingdom just like his siblings. He moved there to be an international student where he attended Cothill House for his primary school, and then went on to attend Tonbridge School for his secondary school.

“Growing up in the UK was difficult at first because of being away from family and the language barrier,” says Jung. “It was hard to assimilate, but I got through it and met a lot of other international students through the experience. It was definitely an eye opener and something I'll always remember.”

During his time at Tonbridge, he attended a commemoration ceremony for those who served in World War I.

“One of the most memorable moments for me during my time at Tonbridge was that World War I ceremony,” explains Jung. “Seeing that made me realize the significance of what military service means. That moment made me realize that I wanted to serve in the military.”

As Jung grew and his interest changed, he became a bit of a history guru. He read about conflicts happening in the world, past and present.

“I’ve read a lot about different battles in the world and specifically the ones that the Marine Corps assisted in,” says Jung. “Knowing that Marines helped during battles in small countries, such as the Battle of Inchon, truly cemented the ideology that the Marine Corps has to me personally. From that point on, the eliteness resonated for me and I wanted to become a part of them.”

Jung’s parents moved to Los Angeles in 2018, where he visited them on and off while getting his Bachelor’s Degree at King’s College London.

When he visited his parents during one of his breaks, he met with a Marine Corps recruiter and found it difficult to get the process started to become a Marine due to travelling back and forth from school to the United Kingdom.

In 2020, Jung graduated King's College London with a Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry, and moved to Los Angeles to be with his parents. He obtained a green card residency and made contact with Sgt. Jamir Walton, a Marine Corps recruiter with Recruiting Station Orange County, who helped make part of Jung’s dream come true.

“I think it’s good to have resiliency,” says Jung. “Do not give up so easily if something is in the way. Whether it be God telling you or intuition, get to the other side of it. Because at the end of it, that's going to help build character.”

Jung is currently on a journey to a dream come true by becoming a part of the Marine Corps later in 2021 during the summer, attending recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

From there, he will attend the School of Infantry on Camp Pendleton and move on to become an infantry rifleman.

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