CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- The U.S. Marines are renowned for fighting their nation’s battles with unwavering devotion. Such commitment to the Corps has been apparent since the legendary campaigns in World War II, Korea and Vietnam and is evident in current operations worldwide. Marines must display dedication and a thirst for mission accomplishment to uphold the Marine Corps’ legacy and traditions.
As an institution, the Marine Corps’ most precious commodity is the approximately 183,000 Marines which make up its ranks and who help ensure the safety of our country. Each individual Marine must find their own specific reasons to remain passionately dedicated to their cause in order for the Corps to continue its challenging tasks around the globe.
Marines like Cpl. Brian Williams, the driver for the commanding general, 1st Marine Division, finds his own unique way to express his dedication to the Marine Corps.
“[Playing football is] definitely an outlet,” Williams said. “It makes [physical training] fun and more enjoyable than running three miles every day.”
Football requires a certain level of focus and attention to detail while on the field. Individuals who play must be aware of play formations, designated receiver routes and their overall role within the team. Williams, a wide receiver on the Headquarters Battalion, 1st Marine Division tackle football team, Wolverines, has a love for the game that keeps him engaged in practice and during the game.
Williams is dedicated to his team but his duties as a Marine always come first. The Atlanta native ties his life of wearing shoulder pads to his desire to wear his Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
“It makes me a better Marine from a discipline aspect,” Williams stated. “When playing football you’re always moving and required to think on your feet, just like Marines; move fast, think fast.”
Marines don’t always have a concrete schedule and the physical demand from the Marine Corps requires them not to find the time, but to make time to be part of the well-oiled machine.
“It’s the ‘want’ to play,” Williams explained. “Whether you’re tired or not, you’re going to make time for it because it’s something that you really want to do.”
Overall, earning your place on a football team takes dedication and commitment. The team is dependent on the “one team, one fight” concept that Marines live by every day.
“Being out there with your boys, you don’t want to let them down by not showing up or saying that you’re too tired to play,” Williams said. “You have these guys looking to you to be there and help the team out.”
Part of what contributes to the success of most Marines is proper mentorship. Growing up Williams always looked up to his father who helped him build the skills and mentality needed to be a successful Marine and football player.
“My dad … has always motivated me,” Williams said with a smile. “He motivated me as I grew up, like when he told me to do push-ups all the time. He just motivated me to be better and be the best I can.”
Like his father, Williams always gives 100 percent when motivating the Marines around him.
“I think that you have to have a lot of discipline to play sports,” Williams stated. “It relates to being a Marine. Not to jump the gun and mess up. It’s the same on the battlefield, because you have to know your role and have discipline while you do it.”
Through the shared pains, grass stains and patching of scrapes and bruises, Williams and his gridiron gang have established a way to become sturdier, sharper group of Marines and come together as a capable team.