Warrior of the Month: Marine From Orlando

Warrior of the Month: Marine From Orlando

UNDISCLOSED LOCATION (Dec. 2, 2014) - Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force - Crisis Response - Central Command is an organization filled with exceptional men and women supporting the Marine Corps' newest crisis response force as it remains forward-deployed in the Middle East. The Marines and sailors who comprise its ranks represent the qualities, characteristics, core values and traditions that make them the few and the proud.

Amongst the ranks of the command, a select group of Warriors exceed expectations and serve as an example to their peers and model to the individuals they lead.

In this interview we recognize one of those Marines. Cpl Patrick W. McDonald, a data network specialist with SPMAGTF-CR-CC, was chosen by his leadership for his outstanding commitment, embodiment of the Corps' core values, and devotion to serving as an example to his fellow Marines.

Q: What motivates you to succeed at your job and in the Marine Corps?

A: It's just a matter of taking pride in what you do. Even if it's something trivial, like cleaning a floor, or whatever the task, you should be trying to kick the crap out of it every time.

Q: Why is your job important to the success of SPMAGTF-CR-CC?

A: Communications is an integral part of modern military operations, and that is even true within the structure of the Special-Purpose MAGTF. All these different moving parts spread out over hundreds or thousands of miles would be fairly useless if they couldn't talk to us and each other. From a help desk point of view, I think of myself as fluid that lubricates the machinery of the communications network connecting all our elements. More than likely everything would still function without me, but I help keep the machine running smoothly. 

Q: How does your family feel about you being in the Marine Corps?

A: I would describe them as cautiously optimistic to begin with. Now they're quite proud. My grandfather was a Brigadier General in the Army, so obviously everyone on that side of the family was happy to see me serving. Sadly he passed before I joined so I was never able to rub it in his face that the Marine's outdo the Army two to one with half the support. 

Q: Why did you join the Marine Corps?

A: I was 24, had stopped going to college just shy of an Associate's Degree, and was working extremely long hours in a few different restaurants in Orlando. I love food and cooking, but I didn't want to get stuck doing it for the rest of my life, so I took steps to make a drastic change. Being a 40 year old line cook or even Sous Chef is not a place you want to be unless you've made your way into an extremely prestigious restaurant. Also, two of my best friends were Marines, both of which are out now. I have huge respect for both of them and it seemed to have made a positive impact on both their lives, so I went for it. 

Q: Why is it important to serve your country?

A: It keeps one from taking for granted all the great things about our country. Once you get out, and you're a civilian again, you can look around at contemporary American society and know that you had a small part in the framework that protects it. 

Q: What do you value most about the Marine Corps and why?

A: I would say the camaraderie is a great aspect. When you meet the good ones, the friendships end up being stronger and tighter because of all the shared experience. It also just sets you up for the rest of your life.

Q: What advice do you have for other Marines who wish to succeed in the Corps?

A: Don't be content. Don't accept mediocrity, in yourself or in others. If you start a job, don't go home until it's done, and make sure it's done right the first time, lest you have to do it again. Find the happy medium between taking your job and your work seriously, but not so seriously that it drives you insane.