In Training to Become a Marine Mom

Jared Agle at the Marine Recuiter drop-off on his way to joining the Corps.

On Friday, Jared Agle graduated from Marine Infantry training. This blog is featuring his journey through the eyes of his mother.

By April Agle

In October 2009, I remember Jared informed his Dad and me that he made an appointment for the Marine Recruiter to come to our house to explain the Delayed Enlistment Program (DEP).  I was not thrilled and not because I was against Jared going into the military.  My concern was why the Marines? Did Jared check out the other branches?

Jared turned 17 in August 2009 and a senior at Zephyrhill’s High School.  He needed to make plans for after high school graduation, but I wanted him to thoroughly explore all options like college, technical school, and yes, the military.  I asked Jared to pray about his decision and make sure this is where God was leading him.  I already knew he was not going to choose college.  Jared had often talked about the Marines and wore clothing with Marine symbols on his shirts.  I knew he was choosing between the Marines and Fire College. As of October 2009, he decided on the Marines.

What a mother sees and feels as her 17-year-old son chooses to become a Marine.

I remember the young recruiter who came to the house. He was in a Marine dress uniform and I kept thinking to myself that he did not look much older than Jared.  I will say this: there is just something about a Marine in dress uniform. It is impressive.  The recruiter was very nice and answered every question I had on my list.  I had always heard you cannot trust a recruiter and I told him that.  He was not offended and explained step by step what the Delayed Enlistment Program was and the advantages for Jared.  Roger and I were convinced and signed the papers for Jared to be in the DEP.  Jared was so thrilled.  He got what he wanted.

Even before he was in the DEP, Jared participated in the Physical Training (PT) held each week.  How can a mom be upset with her child getting exercise?  There was a change in Jared right away.  He had a plan for his future, something to work towards, the decision had been made. 

Jared Agle at Marine Boot Camp on Family Day, November 2010.

Jared started paying attention to what he was eating.  He cut way back on his soda consumption.  He did crunches at home, pull-ups in the doorway and started running.  It was now mandatory to go to the PT weekly and attend Pool meets each month.  Jared was already a slim guy, but now he was getting fit.  Again, this is what moms want – healthy teenagers.  I think being in the DEP also helped Jared make better decisions in social situations.  We had often discussed with Jared how one little indiscretion could change the course of his life.  Now, Jared did not want anything to mess up his chance of becoming a Marine.

Jared had to take an entrance test, the ASFAB.  The Marines had raised the minimum score to pass making it harder for people to join.  Jared was concerned about it because he knew some guys that had not passed it their first attempt.  I was actually pleased that the ASFAB was a challenge.  This told me that you had to have smarts to get into the Marines.  I had this misconception that the Marines were the brawn and not necessarily the smarts.  I learned early on that this is not the case.

 I was relieved. The Marines actually encourage college education.  They have to take college classes to get certain promotions.  I was happy to be wrong and I apologize to all Marines for believing this stereo type.  Jared was able to pass his ASFAB first time through and he passed his physical and background check.  Jared was going to go to boot camp after high school graduation.

Jared Agle with his parents and sister on graduation day from Marine Boot Camp.

My pleasure was somewhat short lived because Jared had to choose his MOS, Military Occupational Specialty.  Jared chose Infantry.  I admit I had a problem with this.  I asked him all Marines shoot guns why do you have to specifically sign up to shoot guns?  There has to be something else you could do.  This is where the boy/man struggle is evident and I can see the immaturity.  Jared tells me he is looking for excitement and adventure.  And “besides, mom I get a signing bonus.”  I answered, “I know why they offer a signing bonus – it’s because you get shot at.”

Needless to say, much heated discussion took place.  In all reality, I have no decision or choice in this matter.  I signed the papers and Jared gets to decide.  Jared signed up for infantry.  At this point as a mom, I have to be supportive.  Jared really could be a diplomat – he can be convincing that he knows what he is doing.

Here’s a link to our first story when Jared graduated boot camp.

April Agle works in WUSF’s business office and among her many duties, she helps me and other staff with Human Resource issues.

14 Responses

  1. Thank you for sharing this April, it takes a strong person to be a Marine, and even stronger people to love a Marine 🙂 Hugs!

  2. April,
    Thank you for sharing this story. I hope that you would consider becoming a member of LifeAsAMarine is a community of USMC supporters and helps to provide information to prospective Marines and their families about the Corps. It is an official page of the Marine Corps Recruiting Command. We would love it if you would submit these images and your story 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 for more information or guidance.

  3. […] Now, on to the story: In Training to Become a Marine Mom by Bobbie O’Brien […]

  4. If you are wise (and you are) what’s in the heart always travels first to the head and then out the mouth… your words are proof that you are a wonderful mom of a very courageous son.

    Not only can I see this blog as being helpful to military moms and families but it is an open door to those of us who can only wonder. Thanks for leaving your door… and your heart open.

  5. […] This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  6. Interesting read and a very familiar one that many parents and future Marines have gone through.

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  11. Wow, I somehow found your blog today. Oh, I know….I had googled ‘Marine boot camp apparel’ because my 21-year-old son, Josh, has been at boot camp for just 2 weeks now at Parris Island, and I wanted to see kinda what he might look like as he goes about his day today. 😏
    Josh is signed up for reserves, but after 2 years, I think he intends to try to go in full time. This past Friday we received the address to use when we write him, and a quickly scrawled note he’d written to us(!)
    I identified with your story, in that our Josh also chose ‘infantry’ and my reaction and ensuing conversation with him was so similar to yours! I realize that your post was written 6 years ago now, but wanted to let you know that it reached out to me today. Thanks.

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