“After visiting a recruiter, I discovered the Military is much more than grunts in the field.”
Not getting anywhere professionally, Brian Buckwalter decided – with prompting from a friend in the Marine Corps Reserve – to meet with a recruiter to see if the Marine Corps could offer him more out of life than his job waiting tables.
What the Marine Corps offered was an environment that corresponded with everything he valued, including opportunities to help people, a team environment and the chance to serve his country.
Brian was also surprised to learn that in the Military there were far more jobs than he realized, including a field that interested him – journalism.
“The Military offers more career options than any other employer. Plus, the training is top-notch in every field.”
As a combat correspondent, Brian is a broadcast reporter/producer for the Pentagon Channel – the Department of Defense worldwide television station. Brian’s news features are seen worldwide in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan and on the web at www.pentagonchannel.mil.
To help him achieve this position, the Marine Corps provided Brian with extensive training – following Basic Training – at the Defense Information School in Fort Meade, Md.
Brian praises the training he received for teaching him how to be a professional journalist as well as a better Marine.
Always striving to learn more, Brian aspires to obtain additional education to help him advance his journalism proficiencies to the next level. To do so, he is planning on applying for the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program (MECEP), an enlisted to officer commissioning program designed to provide outstanding enlisted Marines the opportunity to serve as Marine Corps officers.
“Having the opportunity to interview former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, in a one-on-one conversation, blows my mind… ”
For Brian, the training and hard work have certainly paid off.
Whether it’s covering the 2002 Armed Forces Eco-Challenge in Alaska, providing media coverage of Hurricane Katrina military relief operations or interviewing a former secretary of defense, Brian is constantly charged with responsibilities and challenges that even the most seasoned civilian reporters rarely get the chance to experience.
“Bottom line: The Military takes care of you.”
Beyond great benefits like 30 days of vacation, free health care, job security and more, Brian feels the best benefits he receives come from the job itself.
For Brian, it comes down to the fact that he is not only performing a job he believes in and is passionate about, but also a job that impacts people around the world.
Brian’s Military Career Timeline
- April 2001: Attended Basic Training at Parris Island in South Carolina
- July 2001: Graduated Basic Training
- May 2002: Completed the Basic Journalist Course and the Basic Broadcaster Course at the Defense Information School in Fort Meade, Md.
- June 2002: Assigned to American Forces Network (AFN) in Okinawa, Japan, as a broadcaster (advanced to corporal)
- August 2002: Temporary duty to Alaska to provide media coverage of the 2002 Armed Forces Eco-Challenge
- February 2003: Temporary duty with 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment to Hokkaido, Japan, for Forest Light ‘03 – a month-long extreme cold-weather training exercise with the Japanese Ground Self Defense Force
- August 2003: Assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps Public Affairs, Community Relations Department
- September 2003: Assigned to Headquarters Battalion, Headquarters Marine Corps, Henderson Hall, as the base public affairs chief
- April 2004: Completed Marine Corps Martial Arts Green Belt training
- June 2004: Assigned to the Pentagon Channel in Alexandria, Va., as a broadcaster