Student now, Marine later

Everyone you walk past on campus has a story. Mitch Davis’ is nothing short of fascinating.

Monday morning. He gets up to the ring tone set on his Blackberry.   Just like any other day, he makes his way into the bath room to brush his teeth. His morning routine usually only takes him about twelve minutes and he’s out the door, headed to class with his roommate. But lately it has been taking Mitch Davis, a junior at Bloomsburg University, a little longer to get himself out of his Husky Corner’s apartment. Now, it takes Davis approximately twenty minutes at the least to make his bed as perfect, as neat, and as wrinkle free as possible. No, he does not have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Davis is just preparing himself in small ways for the journey he is about to embark on. He has joined the United States Marine Corps where it is required to have a perfect, flawless bed (among many other things).

Davis is a very typical 20 year old. He enjoys hanging out with his friends, working out, and anticipating his upcoming 21 birthday on December 23.  For the past 3 years, Davis has been taking all the necessary classes to fulfill a bachelor’s degree in psychology along with working 20 hours a week at Bloom’s student recreation center.

“I’ve known Mitch since freshmen year because we ran track together and we’ve been best friends ever since,” says Junior Kevin Grier. “We lived together last year and it was awesome. When I heard Mitch was going to apply to be a Marine there wasn’t a doubt in my mind he wouldn’t go through with it because he’s a hard worker and if he wants something it happens. Not to mention he can kick anyone’s ass.”

“I can sum Mitch up in 3 ways,” says Sean Duffy, another one of Davis’ best friends and past roommate. “He is a fantastic friend, has a great sense of humor, and a hell of a good looking kid.”

Davis’ friends give him great support in his decision to enroll in the USMC but also supporting him is his family.

“Mitch is determined and disciplined,” says Davis’ mother, Ruthie. “Whatever he wants to do, he typically keeps trying until he achieves it.  Additionally, he’s loyal and has a kind heart. There’s more but I’ll stop there.

“As a little kid Mitch loved to hang out at home.  As he got older he became more outgoing.  I suspect he may be an introvert at heart but knows how to socialize well.”

Due to their strong religious views, Davis’ parents initial reaction was not a positive one . However, they are now able to be more supportive towards Mitch’s future goals.

“When Mitch said he was joining the Marines my first thought was that he’d be killed and all of his potential to do whatever God had planned for his life would be wiped out,” says Davis’ mom. “But then I remembered that we dedicated him to God when he was little and that I had to back off and trust that God would lead him where he was supposed to go.  I just had to pray to that end, and in doing so I’m finding myself at peace and able to be fully supportive.”

Davis’ parents could not be more proud and supportive of their sons dreams to be a Marine Officer.  They feel if this is what their son is destined to do they have no doubt he will be successful.

“Wherever Mitch ends up, he’ll be successful,” says father, John Davis. “He’s already demonstrated himself to be a very good leader in High School, and that’s one of the main things he’ll need as an officer.  So, if God’s path for Mitch is to be in the Marines as an officer then [God] has a job for him to do and Mitch will do it well.  If in the end Mitch is supposed to do something else, then this journey he’s taking now will be a learning experience for his life that will benefit him in the end.”

For about a year, Davis talked about joining the Marines and took an interest in it but never committed. It was not until this August that he actually sit down and contemplate if this really was serious.

“I decided I really wanted to be a Marine this summer after much thought,” Says Davis “I really want to give back to my country; it would be a great honor…It’s something God wants me to do.”

Still, the application process to join the Marines has many steps. Davis described the process as “full of interviews and information, not to mention the physical examinations”.

The first thing Davis had to do was  pass a 30 minute phone interview involving questions regarding things like his racial background, drug and alcohol intake, family, school, and if he had any tattoos. Davis passed.

“Some people don’t qualify for Marine Corps Officer so if they ‘fail’ the phone interview they don’t even bother with a face to face meeting,” says Davis who ,met with his recruiters Captain Dominic Corabi and Staff Sergeant Filson shortly after passing his first interview.

After meeting his recruiters, Davis returned to school needing an official transcript, 5 letters of recommendation, and all of his medical transcripts. He successfully handed in all of the required paper work and his next move was to attend the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).

“MEPS was where they gave me a physical exam, blood testing, and urine analysis,” explains Davis, “its purpose was to get all your medical records together and to make sure you’re in good physical shape. I had to do 20 pull ups, 100 sit-ups in 2 minutes, and run 3 miles within an 18 minute time limit.”

Currently, Davis is awaiting confirmation from the Platoon Leaders Course. He hopes the outcome will lead him to his ideal position of being part of a human intelligence team or what they call a HET Squad.

“I would be what they call a liason and be the communicator between whatever home country I am in and the marines, “says Davis “I’d help with interrogations and help solve disputes between countries. I don’t ever want to be on the front line but if that’s where I am positioned then that’s where God wanted me.”

All in all, Davis couldn’t be more dedicated and excited to accomplish something that he feels is ‘bigger than himself’.

“I have to attend boot camp this summer and next which go for 10 weeks in Virginia that will prepare us for after college. It works on our leadership skills and also helps us take what we learn in the classroom and apply it to battle field situations.”

Davis and his supporters all know he will be completely successful and make a great marine. But for right now, Davis is going to enjoy his last year and a half at college. But that doesn’t mean he won’t be physically and mentally prepared come Summer 2012.