Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Face of Defense: India-born Marine Climbs Career Ladder

By Marine Corps Cpl. Shannon McMillan
1st Marine Logistics Group

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan, Feb. 16, 2011 – A Marine who was born and raised in India continues to move up through the ranks as he serves the United States.

Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Jacob Gill, platoon sergeant for the 1st Marine Logistics Group’s General Support Motor Transport Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 15, received a combat meritorious promotion to his current grade here Jan. 30.

Gill lived with his family in India until he was 15. In 1998, they moved to Indianapolis to live near his grandparents.

His decision to join the military in 2002 stemmed from his desire to follow in the footsteps of his grandfather, who served in the Indian army for 26 years.

“The Marine Corps was the service that met the standards I was looking for,” said Gill, 28. “I wanted the discipline, leadership and everything the Marine Corps has to offer.”

His company’s first sergeant said Gill earned his promotion.

“Staff Sergeant Gill defines the reasoning behind our Corps having combat meritorious promotions,” said Marine Corps 1st Sgt. Adam E. Fraser. “Not only has this Marine displayed an exceptional track record of proven success throughout all his vast combat experience, both current and prior, but he also has the instinctive abilities and actions to perform in a capacity within the operating forces achieving and influencing pristine results for any unit.”

This is not the first time Gill has been singled out for recognition by his unit leadership. In 2009, Gill was nominated for a staff sergeant combat meritorious board. He placed fourth, but only two promotions were available. He was nominated again in 2009, this time placing third, but again, only two of the nominated Marines could be promoted.

He was nominated again this year, and the Marine Expeditionary Force-level board selected him.

“I was nervous,” Gill said, “because there are a lot of talented, stellar sergeants that I was competing against. I felt honored being selected.”

Gill said he plans to lead Marines and serve his country with honor for the long haul.

“I am doing at least 20 years,” he said. “My plan is to serve as long as the Marine Corps will allow me.”

Accomplishing this milestone was a proud moment in his military career, he added.

“The feeling of knowing I accomplished something that not many have done, especially where I come from, was a great feeling,” he said.

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