CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
To be the best is the only goal Lance Cpl. Austin Enders, intelligence specialist, 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit, has set. What started as a means to be a competitive swimmer in high school, has grown into a necessity to be faster and stronger than those around him.
During the day, Enders is responsible for providing the 15th MEU commanding officer with accurate and timely information on global events that may impact the mission. He uses physical training as a stress reliever from the pressures of his job. In this interview, the 19 year-old Marine from Halifax, Pa., tells us what drives him to be the best.
Q: What does an intelligence specialist do?
A: My job as an intelligence specialist is basically to provide the commander with timely and accurate information that is going to help him make a well informed decision.
Q: What do you like about being an intelligence specialist?
A: One of the cool things about being an intelligence specialist is that you’re in the know about everything that is going on in the world. It’s important to keep up-to-date with new and upcoming situations and events that are occurring and I like to know what’s going.
Q: At 19 you deal with information that most people don’t have access to. Is that a lot of pressure for you and how do you deal with it?
A: Yes, there is a lot of pressure. You need to provide the commander with accurate timely intelligence. You can’t be wrong. You have to be sure of yourself and what you’re telling the commander. You can’t lead him the wrong way. You have to disseminate the information very clearly.
Q: What was a time you felt the most pressure in your job?
A: When I first got here. I’m new to the field, but they expect a lot out of you. Especially in this unit, they expect you to be at their pace. That was a challenge definitely.
Q: What helps relieve some of that pressure?
A: At the end of the day working out definitely relieves a lot of that pressure. It’s definitely something I like to do, especially during the week to stay mentally and physically strong.
Q When did you start regularly going to the gym to lift?
A: I started my junior year in high school to help me with competitive swimming and football.
Q: Do you even lift?
A: Yes, I lift about six days a week for about two hours a day.
Q: What do you try to accomplish when lifting?
A: Well, people do different workouts for different reasons. I’m trying to just bulk up using the Olympic Style weight lifting to gain that muscle mass. I focus on balancing the weight and proper lifting technique.
Q: Do you plan on lifting competitively?
A: I’ve seen a few of the CrossFit Games and that looks pretty cool, but I don’t think so. For me it’s more to just be in great physical shape.
Q: Do you ever feel intimidated a by some of these bigger guys next to you at the gym?
A: Oh well it’s the Marine Corps gym. There’s a lot of muscle heads in here definitely. But it’s not about comparing yourself to other people. As long as you’re making progress, that’s the important thing.
Q: Do you feel like you’re a muscle head?
A: No, not at all. To be a force in readiness you need to be physically fit. Definitely, as a Ying and a Yang, I try to exercise my mind and read books; try to learn a language and an instrument. Just be well balanced, it’s not good to just focus on one thing.
Q: What goals do you set for yourself when lifting?
A: Just get bigger. I want to be physically exhausted. I’d be disappointed if I ever left the gym not feeling that way.
Q: What motivates you to lift?
A: Being more physically in shape than your peers. I want to be the best in everything.
Q: What’s your favorite workout?
A: Definitely pull-ups.
For the Warrior Wednesday video on Enders, visit our YouTube page at http://youtube/LTnNnPGClGs