Washington, D.C. --
For more than two centuries, the Corps has produced countless leaders who have excelled both in and out of the military. That legacy continues today with thousands of young men and women within its ranks rising up to become leaders.
Cpl. Andre Brown is one of those people the Corps is shaping into a mentor and leader.
Growing up, Brown, a Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., administrative clerk, said he was the youngest of three children and lacked the kind of expectations some children have.
“There was no responsibility whatsoever,” said Brown. “Everything came down to my two older sisters. I wasn’t in charge of anything. I was doing whatever they told me to do.
“With him being the youngest, he didn’t take the initiative on projects,” said his sister, Abigail Brown.
When Brown, a native of Silver Spring, Maryland, graduated high school and decided to join the Corps, he adjusted to the mentality that everyone’s a leader.
“There were times as a junior Marine I had a leadership position, and of course, I made mistakes, but I also learned from them,” said Brown.
In January of 2014, he was promoted to the rank of corporal and said he knew from then on he had to improve.
“It felt good, but at the same time I was really, really nervous,” said Brown. “I knew my leaders would expect a lot more out of me.”
He said the new standard was to not make the kind of mistakes a junior Marine would make.
He said he looks to his father as his greatest mentor in life.
“He’s always there for me when I need guidance,” said Brown. “He’s not afraid to tell me what I need to hear instead of what I want to hear.”
Since his promotion, Brown has become responsible for several junior Marines.
Abigail said that once her brother became a Marine, she has seen him become more outspoken and outgoing.
He now volunteers for Teens Run DC, which is a mentoring program for teenagers in Washington.
“The focus is running with kids so they can be active and stay in shape, and also, to be a role model for them,” said Brown.
He has registered for college classes starting this fall.
Brown aspires to teach high school history and said the leadership training he experienced in the Marine Corps will better prepare him for his future career.
“High school teachers are the last line of defense, other than the kids’ parents, when it comes to going out into the real world,” said Brown. “I feel like it’s a really good way to give back and mentor young people.”
Brown intends to use his leadership experience to advance in the Corps and into his civilian life.
“Life is going to demand certain things from you,” said Brown. “If that alters your actions, it’s not only going to affect you, but everyone else around you.”