Capt Karla Cumbie Answers Your Questions on Twitter
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. (Dec. 19, 2014) - When Captain Karla Cumbie was accepted into the United States Naval Academy, she knew she wanted to take the most challenging path available—that of a United States Marine. Now, Capt Cumbie is a Marine Aviator and a Weapons and Tactics Instructor responsible for training and leading her fellow Marines. On Monday, December 15, Capt Cumbie joined United States Marine Corps Recruiting Command on Twitter to answer your questions and talk about what it's like to earn the title Marine.
How difficult was it to actually become a Pilot?
It's not easy, but with studying and hard work, it is attainable. I studied every single night for the last five years.
Did you get the aircraft that you had wanted?
Yes, but throughout flight school what I wanted changed when I learned about each aircraft.
I was lucky to get what I wanted, but for many of my friends that wasn't the case. Aircraft is assigned based on availability and performance.
What advice would you give to a young man who is an aspiring Marine?
Prepare yourself physically with a workout plan and mentally by finding out what options are available.
What do you think the hardest thing about being a Marine?
It's the time commitment that's the hardest. You're a Marine 24/7.
What other duties do you have when you're not piloting an aircraft?
I create training plans for my fellow pilots, and I continue to work on my own personal training.
How is flight school different for males and females?
It's not. Male and female Marines train together.
What is the most difficult situation you've ever been in?
Preparing for Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course. Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course is an advanced tactics school that trains instructor pilots. The rigorous academics and application of advanced flight tactics were challenging.
Did you ever feel like giving up during the training?
There were a lot of difficult and trying times, but I never once thought of giving up.
Personally, what path did you take to become a Marine pilot?
I went to the Naval Academy, and I applied for and was selected for the Marine Aviation option.
Did you have a sports playing background in college or high school?
I swam, did track & field and volleyball in high school, and I played volleyball at the Naval Academy.
Was your family supportive of your decision to serve?
Yes. I don't have any active duty family members, but my family has always been very supportive.
If you could do anything else, what would it be?
Right now, nothing. I love being a Marine.
To learn more about Capt Cumbie and her path to become a leader of Marines, watch her Success Story on Marines.com.