Marine serves two-year hitch in Corps

23 Jun 2005 | Lance Cpl. Aaron K. Clark

What can you accomplish in two years?  If you ask Lance Cpl. Liam J. McLoughlin, he might say you can accomplish a great deal.

McLoughlin, a Babylon, N.Y. native, enlisted into the Marine Corps under the new 2-year contract option that congress mandated all services must have as part of the "National Call to Service Program." Just like regular four-year contracts that have an additional four-year inactive-reserve obligation, the new two-year contract has a six-year inactive reserve obligation.

"I think this two year contract is great because it provides an opportunity for individuals to take advantage of what the Marine Corps has to offer without worrying about a lengthy active duty contract," said McLoughlin.

In addition to getting the experience of Marine Corps combat and job training, McLoughlin is stationed at the Marine Barracks in the nation's capital, the "Oldest Post of the Corps."

As an administrative clerk, he maintains computer databases of the rifle requalification and sustainment ranges, PFT, and composite scores of all the Marines in Headquarters and Service Company, the largest company at the post.

Working in the H&S Company office is motivating because you interact and deal with the company's senior leadership on a daily basis. Most Marines will never get that opportunity, he said.

Besides just opening doors for him when he gets out, the Marine Corps is going to pay off a majority of student loans McLoughlin accrued before he joined.  This is just one of the many options that Marines who sign-up for a two-year contract have available to them. But the benefits aren't why McLoughlin signed up.

"The great thing about the Marine Corps is that it provides opportunities for individuals that otherwise would not be there," he said.

And now that McLoughlin is over halfway done his contract he encourages his friends to follow in his footsteps. "Like anything in life, there can be bad days, but you keep on pushing on and you will achieve anything you want," said McLoughlin.

Going from thinking about signing up to actually enlisting was a fairly smooth processes said McLoughlin. "My recruiter was there for me every step of the way. We would workout several times a week, as well as ease my mind about the whole process of becoming a Marine," said McLoughlin.

It is said that nothing in the Marine Corps is given, everything is earned, and nothing could be more correct with Lance Cpl. McLoughlin.

"McLoughlin was pretty motivated signing up. He had difficulty meeting some of the requirements to ship to boot camp, but any weaknesses he had the drill instructors helped him overcome," said Sgt. Joseph H. Hollingsworth, the recruiter who put McLoughlin into the Marine Corps at Recruiting Substation Lindenhurst, New York.

Sgt. Hollingsworth was a major factor in me being where I am today, said McLoughlin.

Whether you sign a two-year or four-year contract, the Marine Corps wants to help you accomplish your goals in both the Corps, and in your life, said Hollingsworth.