Seniors make honorable, courageous commitments

Austin Quintero

Honor, courage and commitment are the three core values adopted by the Marine Corps and the three same values to be adopted by two seniors: Zach Apperson, business management , and Casey Svatek, criminal justice.

In 2014, both Svatek and Apperson will take commissions as second lieutenants in the world’s premiere fighting force.

While most college graduates proceed to find jobs in the civilian markets, Svatek and Apperson have chosen to take on a responsibility that could put them in the heart of danger.

“I’ve always wanted to do something more with my life,” Apperson, graduating in May, said. “The thought of doing the same job over and over in an office for the next 30 years is my worst fear.”

For Svatek, graduating in December, the decision for the Marines came from a different logic.

“I wanted to push my limits, and then, when I think I’ve had enough, push some more,” Svatek said. “The Corps does that to all who hold the title Marine.”

While the expected lieutenants chose their paths, it wasn’t given to them. All officers in the Marines must have a bachelor’s of arts or science degree and must complete Marine Corps Officer Candidates School, a boot-camp equivalent training for officers designed to mentally and physically break down those who try, weed out the week and leave only those fit to be Marines according to Staff Sgt. Johnathan Warren, a staff platoon sergeant in Quantico, VA.

“The hardest part of OCS for me was the sleep deprivation,” Apperson said. “Not just sleep deprivation though, a no caffeine, no food and a 16-hour work day type of sleep deprivation.”
The physical demands of Officer Candidate School are not the only challenge.

“The hardest part for me was seeing some of the guys leave training,” Svatek said. “It’s a rough environment and all the guys there are great people trying to serve their country. Just gotta respect them for trying.”

Svatek expects to take his commission in January while Apperson expects to in May.