Marine Corps Officer Giving Life Everything He Has
by U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Sarah Ralph
U.S. Marine Corps Maj. Gordon Emmanuel did not come into this
world with the brightest path, or under the most positive
circumstances. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York as the son to two
environment he was born into was relatively rough and was not the
best conditions for a child. Gordon’s household could be described
as tumultuous, and a place where he felt as if he was facing
adversity inside as well as outside.
“Many times people
attribute adversity as a negative, but much of the adversity that I
have experienced has resulted in positive gain,” says Emmanuel. “For
example, Marine Corps training, deployments, and leadership
challenges were all tough things to encounter, but finding a way to
get the job done has done more good for me than negative.”
Growing up, Emmanuel was a witness to a lot of examples of failures
in life and knew from a young age that those examples were not the
one’s he wanted to emulate or become.
“Even though the
environment that I grew up in was relatively rough, it gave me an
appreciation for the different ways that someone can grow up, either
successful or fail,” explains Emmanuel.
During his freshman
year of high school when selecting electives to take, Emmanuel
randomly selected Marine Corps Junior Reserve Officers’ Training
Corps. This was the first encounter he ever had with Marines in
general, and since day one of the class he was hooked.
finally able to experience great leadership and was provided the
perfect example of what “success” could look like. During
Emmanuel’s sophomore year of high school, he watched the fall of New
York’s Twin Towers on television.
“After watching my Marine
instructor handle that situation it made me realize that I had
likely found my purpose. I knew that I would be joining the Marine
Corps from that point forward,” says Emmanuel.
senior year of high school in 2003, he brought a Marine Corps
recruiter to his house so his parents could sign the consent form to
enlist into service since he was only 17.
U.S. Marines were on CNN- at war in Iraq while a recruiter was
trying to convince my parents to let me join,” say Emmanuel. “My
parents did not sign the consent. They said if I was going to go to
war it would have to be completely my decision. I was extremely
Due to his parents refusing to sign a waiver to allow
Emmanuel to enter the Delayed Entry Program, his plans changed in
joining the Corps when he turned 18, which would have been seven
months after graduating high school. He ended up signing up for
community college and during the first week of classes came into
contact with a Marine officer recruiter.
“He took me to his
office and I found myself in officer training the next summer. If it
wasn’t for bumping into him, I would have enlisted in December 2003.
It’s funny how the world works,” says Emmanuel. “I sometimes regret
not having the opportunity to enlist, but then I get over it and
recognize that I am lucky to be serving in any capacity. I knew
nothing about the officer route in high school.”
Emmanuel was commissioned as an officer in the United States Marine
Corps after graduating from the University of Central Florida. He
went into the Marine Corps as an infantry officer, which led to a
multitude of opportunities throughout his career such as; deploying
during Operation Enduring Freedom, assisting in Operation Moshtarak,
and being selected to become a part of the Commandant’s Career Level
Currently, Maj. Emmanuel is the Commanding
Officer or Recruiting Station Orange County in California, with the
mission of contracting and enlisting the brightest and most talented
men and women in the nation to serve as Marines.
drives me every day is a sense of purpose and service,” says
Emmanuel. “I am on a mission to give. I am on a mission to set the
example for the Marines that I serve alongside as well as for my
children. I am on a mission to be the best husband, father, and
professional, and ensure that my gifts are not wasted. I would like
to be on my deathbed feeling completely exhausted, but fulfilled
knowing that I gave everything that I had to the people that matter
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