Marine sheds 85 pounds to join the Corps

Marine sheds 85 pounds to join the Corps

Pvt McEachern is given a saftey check by an Instructional Training Company drill instructor, before beginning his decent of the depot's 60 foot-high rappel tower. McEachern lost 85 pounds to join the Marine Corps. Photo by LCpl Tyler Viglione.

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO (April 4, 2014) - "A dream doesn't become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work," said Colin Powell, former secretary of state.

That's just what Pvt Logan R. McEachern did to realize his dream of becoming a Marine.

McEachern, Platoon 1073, Company D, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, lost 85 pounds to join the Marine Corps and another 30 pounds during recruit training.

"I was 6 feet, 305 pounds," said McEachern. "One day I looked in the mirror and knew I had to change."

McEachern was an average student in high school. He received mediocre grades, just enough to be able to go on the field every week and play football.

"I have played football since I was 5 years old," said 23-year-old McEachern. "I have played on the offensive line and left and right tackles. That's the reason I had to be big."

After high school, he received a scholarship to play football at Southwestern Oklahoma State University. While attending SOSU, McEachern also played for the Enid Enforcers, a semi-professional team out of Enid, Okla. He ended up winning a championship with the Enforcers in 2012.

Going into his senior year of college, his scholarship had expired and was forced to attend another school.

"My scholarship wasn't going to get renewed because it was only valid for three years, so I went back to school without football," said McEachern. "I felt lost and didn't know what to do with myself and couldn't handle it"

He later left college to pursue a job in the oil field industry as a welder.

"I was making good money," said McEachern. "I had everything I wanted, a new bike and a new truck. I liked what I was doing."

As the time passed working as a welder, McEachern realized he had become complacent and wanted to pursue his dream to become a United States Marine.

"I honestly didn't think I had it in me," said McEachern. "I was so heavy; I didn't think there was any way possible for me to get down to the weight that the Marine Corps wanted me to."

He started going to the gym, eating right and working out.

"I wrote everything that I had done down to the T," said McEachern. "Every meal, every workout, everything I did to my body; even the hours I slept."

Not long after he began his regimen, McEachern quickly started noticing results.

"I weighed in every day," said McEachern. "I was surprised how fast the weight was dropping."

McEachern explained how he loves running and basically just shredded the weight off. Every day he noticed two or more pounds of weight loss.

He was getting more determined that he could meet his goals but still wasn't sure if he was Marine Corps material.

"I went to the Army, Navy and Air Force recruiters as well," said McEachern. "They basically just wanted me to sign that day, no questions asked, and I knew that wasn't for me. I deep down really wanted to be a Marine but I still wasn't confident I could until I weighed myself again."

Weighing about 225 pounds, McEachern decided to go and talk to a Marine Corps recruiter.

"When I first went to the recruiter, I was told that I was able to enlist if I could drop about 5 more pounds," said McEachern. "At the rate I was going, that wasn't going to be a problem."

Following on his continual workout, running and powerlifting, McEachern got his body weight down to 220 pounds.

"When I looked at the scale I couldn't believe my eyes," said McEachern. "Less than a year ago I was looking in the mirror at myself in disappointment and it just amazes me on what you can accomplish if you set your mind to it."

McEachern decided to join with a friend through the buddy program. While going through his physical at the Military Entrancing Processing Station, McEachern was told that he had astigmatism, which is an eye condition for which he needed a waiver.

"I was supposed to leave for recruit training in November with my buddy but my waiver had still not gotten approved," said McEachern. "My buddy left without me and that was the least of my worries. I was just happy my dream was slowly becoming a reality."

McEachern came from a long line of service members. His father, grandfather, cousin and great uncle had all served in the military.

"They were my primary motivation," said McEachern. "I wanted to be like them and also make them proud, which led me to push myself every day."

After months of waiting, McEachern's medical waiver was approved and scheduled to ship out to Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego to begin recruit training. 

When McEachern arrived at recruit training, he lost more weight.

"I looked down at the scale," said McEachern. "It said 187."

He had lost 118 pounds in less than a year

While in recruit training, his motivation, discipline and focus became apparent with his drill instructors. He was appointed a squad leader.

"He is one of the hardest working recruits I have," said SSgt Vince C. Mabalot, senior drill instructor. "He helps motivate recruits by always being vocal and really being a leader."

Now a private in the United States Marine Corps, McEachern continues his path by attending the Infantry Training Battalion at the School of Infantry to become a rifleman.

"What I have done has changed my life," said McEachern. "The mind is one powerful weapon and it can make you be able to accomplish things you wouldn't even think of being possible. If you ever have a dream, chase it, because you will never know how good the feeling will be when it becomes real."

Marines.mil is the official website of the United States Marine Corps and is maintained by the Marine Corps' Division of Public Affairs.