South Lake High School’s Naval Science Instructor Master Sergeant Brandon Messenger simply wanted to serve his country when he decided to join the United States Marine Corps in 1995. Today, he is inspiring the next generation of leaders at the school’s NJROTC program.
Messenger spoke with The Daily Commercial about his time serving and here are his responses.
Where did you graduate high school and what activities were you involved in?
I graduated from Lee High School in Midland, Texas, where we were the Rebels. I played football, wrestling, tennis, and lacrosse. I later got a BS degree from UCF in business and marketing.
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Why did you decide to join the Marine Corps?
I wanted to serve my country. I joined in 1995 and went through recruit training in San Diego, California. I was stationed with artillery unit in Camp Pendleton, CA as a Motor T operator, PCS’d to Washington D.C. then did a lat move to become an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician.
Where did you go from there?
At this point I was stationed at MWSS-271 aboard MCAS Cherry Point, NC. I was sent on recruiting duty to Kansas City, MO for three years until I was stationed back aboard Camp Pendleton, CA to 1st EOD Company, 7th ESB, 1st MLG. There I deployed three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom which was in SE Ar Ramadi, Al Fallujah and Al Taqaddum. Upon returning from Iraq I retired from Camp Pendleton.
How long did you serve?
I medically retired in 2013.
What conflicts did you participate in?
I was in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. I traveled overseas to Okinawa, Iraq, Kuwait and Vietnam.
Who was the best leader to whom you were exposed and why?
I had the privileged to have worked for then Maj. Gen. Mattis, which was a great experience as his presence demanded respect and he was a true leader of Marines.
Did you receive any special qualifications?
I was a graduate of NAVSCOLEOD, becoming one of 368 Marines, at the time, that had the title of Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. I also was a certified Breacher Instructor and MCWISS qualified.
What was your highest rank?
I am a Master Sergeant.
What did you get from your time in service that you have drawn on in your post-service life?
I always rely back to the leadership and ability to make good quality decisions very quickly due to the training I have received.
What philosophy do you live by?
Teaching tomorrows leaders gives me hope for the continued success of a great nation.
This article originally appeared on Daily Commercial: South Lake’s Naval Science Instructor trains tomorrow’s leaders