As Veterans Celebrate, A New Marine Joins

New Marine Jared Agle already has his first stripe for ROTC service and first ribbon for joining during wartime.

Jared Agle decided years ago he wanted to be a Marine. He spent his years in high school preparing for it. And when the time came, he convinced his mother to sign off. He left for boot camp in August weeks before his 18th birthday.

I met Jared because his mom April works here at WUSF Public Media in the business office. Agle returned last Friday after 13 weeks of basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina.

In this week that the country is honoring its veterans, Agle shared what it’s like to be at the beginning of that journey to serve his country.

It started with his late-night arrival at camp. Getting off the bus the Marine recruits are ordered to keep their heads down and not look up. The DIs – or Drill Instructors – run them from station to station filling out paperwork, picking up uniforms, having their hair sheared off.

Agle, fresh from boot camp, shares what it's like to become a Marine.

Agle didn’t sleep his first night there. He laid in his “rack”, his mind racing with all sorts of questions: “You’re kind of like, is it going to be this bad the whole time? Am I going to be able to make it? Am I going to be able to sleep?”

He wasn’t used to being “hollered at.” Yet, Agle said he never questioned his choice to join the Marines. His most difficult challenge during the training, the DIs told Agle his voice wasn’t loud enough.

“One time I had to scream at a wall until it moved,” Agle said.

April Agle and her son, USMC Private First Class Jared Agle, 18.

More than a dozen family members attended Agle’s graduation. His sister decorated the family car writing “USMC Graduate” on the back. So the entire trip home, passing cars pulled up alongside honked and gave Agle a “thumbs up.”

That’s when the realization hit Agle, he is now part of “the Corps.”

“It’s definitely worth it,” Agle said. He already has his first stripe because he was in high school ROTC. And he has earned his first ribbon, the defense ribbon for joining the military while the country is at war.

USMC Private First Class Agle, 18, leaves for infantry school on Monday.

You can listen to Agle talk about his first few months spent becoming a Marine during a WUSF radio interview with me.

11 Responses

  1. Congrats to the new Marine.

  2. […] a link to our first story when Jared graduated boot […]

  3. What a great story. We’d love to hear more about the journey to becoming a Marine on the LifeAsAMarine website. LifeAsAMarine is a community of USMC supporters and helps to provide information to prospective Marines and their families about the Corps. We would love it if you would submit this story on the site to help members of our community gain valuable perspective on life in the Corps. Please visit to see the site and feel free to email me at for more information or guidance.

  4. Thanks for giving your son! This is a good story, I hope to read more in the future. Having 4 boys I feel like one may also go. It’s the odds thing. I will be proud if they do.

  5. […] a link to WUSF’s  first story when Jared graduated boot […]

  6. […] a link to WUSF’s  first story when Jared graduated boot […]

  7. […] a link to WUSF’s  first story when Jared graduated boot […]

  8. […] a link to WUSF’s  first radio story when Jared graduated boot […]

  9. […] a link to WUSF’s  first radio story when Jared graduated boot […]

  10. […] met Jared before he left and talked with him again when he returned after 13 weeks of basic training. He left again for months of infantry training before deploying to Afghanistan several weeks […]

  11. […] still in high school. I convinced April to write about the experience. I also had the privilege of interviewing Jared before and after boot camp in 2010. He’s now serving in Afghanistan. Momma B tries out a […]

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