USS RUSHMORE -The Marine Corps is a melting pot of brave men and women from many nationalities who all share the desire to serve and protect the United States. Each has a unique story that deserves to be told.
Corporal Pierre K. Justin was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in 1990. At the age of 15, he left the Caribbean and moved to his father’s house in New York City. Today he serves as an administration clerk, deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard the USS Rushmore.
This year Justin received his U.S. citizenship after completing the process in four months and not spending a dime from his own pocket. A bonus, he said, that he would not have completed as easily if not for the Marines. Although gaining his citizenship wasn’t the sole reason for joining, it was something Justin accomplished while serving his country.
“I joined because I wanted a sense of independence and a better life for myself,” said Justin, who recently re-enlisted for another four years in the Corps. “I wanted to experience new things and meet people from other states and nationalities. I wanted to travel the world. I never thought I would visit Hawaii or Australia, which I’ve already done during this deployment.”
As an administration clerk on the smallest ship of the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group, Justin works on a shared government computer whenever it’s free to use. Although he would prefer to work in a field environment, he understands his importance and is humble that he is able to help fellow Marines on a person-to-person level.
“I take care of people,” added Justin, who is now 22 years old. “When Marines come to me with issues I can handle, I feel good that I’m able to help them, whether it’s updating their personal information, awards or certificates, fixing pay issues, or requesting meritorious mast. If a Marine comes to me for help for something important such as a problem with their pay, I’ll make them a priority so it gets fixed.”
Justin appreciates many things the Marine Corps has provided for him in return for his hard work and dedication to duty. One aspect that stands out above the rest for Justin is the Brotherhood shared between those who have earned the title Marine.
“I like the brotherhood between us,” added Justin. “It’s like a bigger family. Everyone takes care of each other. I remember when my car was broken down and in the shop. I barely had to ask and another Marine would drive me wherever I needed to go. That’s camaraderie.”
He has high hopes for the future, looking forward to where his job might take him and the more friendships he may create. Sworn to serve four more years he hopes to serve the Corps well and continue to help others.