The Marine Corps represents different things for different people. Sometimes Marines forget why they joined “America’s 911 fighting force”. One young Marine hasn’t let that happen.
“The Marine Corps taught me how to be consistent and confident,” said Lance Cpl. Jeremy D. Tolhurst, field wireman, 8th Communication Battalion, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Headquarters Company, II MEF (FWD).
The Detroit native explained what he meant about consistency in detail.
“Even if you’re having a bad day,” he said, “You still have to be at work, you are still graded on your performance. If I fix a phone, my name is on the list and people will come back to me if it’s not done right. You have to be consistent in your job at all times.”
Tolhurst, a 2003 graduate of Western International High School in Detroit, said he didn’t make good grades throughout high school. He was a basketball athlete, but other than that, he didn’t have goals.
“Me and my friends were driving by the recruiters [office] one day,” said the 20-year-old. “I decided I wanted to go in and see what it was all about. I wanted to be in the hardest service.”
Shortly after enlisting, Tolhurst left for boot camp. After graduating in February 2004, he was off to military occupational school in Twentynine Palms, Calif., to begin training as a field wireman.
“I graduated the highest in my class [at MOS school],” Tolhurst said. “I picked up lance corporal because of it. I just pushed myself to learn all I could.”
On his first deployment, Tolhurst said it’s not what he expected.
“It’s not hard. It’s probably harder for my wife,” said Tolhurst, who has been married for nine months. “I work long hours out here, but I know my job so well, that it’s not hard for me.”
A wireman’s job description can range from fixing phones to laying down wire or fiber. Tolhurst shares his knowledge as a wireman to aid others in his unit.
“I know my job. I ask questions when I need to and I teach the other Marines what I know,” he said.
Tolhurst said he takes advantage of the deployment atmosphere.
“I want to learn more,” he said. “I started picking things up when I got out here and it just gets easier.”
With new Marines being deployed into his work section, Tolhurst has already started training them.
“If I had one thing to tell them, it would be to be confident in their work,” he said. “When I first got here, I was a little intimidated because I had never experienced Iraq before. Looking back, I just wish I had been confident from day one.”
Developing new characteristic traits while advancing through the Corps is something no one can take away from Tolhurst.
“I can proudly say I am going to be a millionaire one day. Own a business, something like that,” he said with a smile. “I have accomplished things that I never thought I could. I have a new outlook on life now because of the Marine Corps.”