MCAS Cherry Point, N.C. --
U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Jose Mojica-Mercado, a 20-year-old from Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, currently serves as a legal clerk at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Cherry Point, North Carolina. Joining the Marine Corps Dec. 5, 2018, Mojica-Mercado saw enlistment as an opportunity to serve his country and wanted to be part of the illustrious history of the Marine Corps.
“Learning the history of Iwo Jima and the Frozen Chosin from my recruiter really encouraged me to join the Marine Corps,” said Mojica-Mercado. “Hearing about the hardships they went through fighting for the country filled my body with motivation to do more as a person and join something bigger than myself.”
Mojica-Mercado went to recruit training filled with purpose and enthusiasm to be a Marine, but going through boot camp was no easy process. The trials of boot camp wore on Mojica-Mercado’s physical and mental state. Whenever he was having a hard time he would think about the struggles that the Marines before him went through and he would keep pushing himself forward. Mojica-Mercado also found a lot of motivation from the people at home who believed in him.
“The letters I received in boot camp from my friends and family really helped and encouraged me,” said Mojica-Mercado. “Their letters said things like ‘you’re the best, you’re a beast, I’m so proud of you’ and reading that was something I leaned on from time to time.”
The letters from his mother especially motivated him to push through those tough times and keep going until the end of recruit training. After that, Mojica-Mercado went to Marine Combat Training at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and then went to his school house to learn how to be an administrative specialist in Camp Johnson, North Carolina.
Nearly two years since he stepped on the legendary yellow footprints, Mojica-Mercado is now stationed at MCAS Cherry Point, serving as a legal clerk and says he is enjoying his time in the Marine Corps. He still thinks about the support he got from his friends and family in boot camp and tries to apply it to his work as a legal clerk helping Marines.
“Receiving those letters in boot camp resonated with me going forward in my military career,” said Mojica-Mercado. “I try to motivate and support the Marines I work with and help the different Marines whose paperwork I deal with on a daily basis.”
Mojica-Mercado plans to keep enjoying serving as a Marine and hopes to re-enlist to continue studying law with the hope that once he leaves the Marine Corps he can continue to serve and aid his community by becoming a sheriff.