CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan – Coming from a rich military family history, Cpl. Wesley Giddens knew he wanted to serve his country as his ancestors had done.
Giddens’ grandfather liked to study their family’s genealogy as a hobby. Through his studies, he was able to learn their family’s ancestors had served in both the Revolutionary War and the Civil War. Giddens’ father, along with both grandfathers, had also served in the military.
Giddens, an intelligence analyst with Regimental Combat Team 7 in Helmand province, Afghanistan, is currently serving on his second deployment. His first deployment was with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit where he spent time in Okinawa and the Philippines.
“My family has been in the military for a while, so that’s what kind of drove me to enlist,” said Giddens, from Paris, Texas. “We have a very rich military family history.”
Before deciding to join the Marine Corps, Giddens spent time talking to his father about each of the branches of service and what they had to offer.
“I spent some thinking about which branch I actually wanted to join instead of just jumping right into it,” Giddens said. “I sat down and talked to my dad, and he gave me a lot of information about the differences between each branch of the military. The deciding factor was the Marine Corps seemed like there was more honor involved in it, and I could be proud to be a Marine.”
Giddens choose his military occupational specialty after speaking with his recruiter and learning about the future job opportunities associated with the intelligence field.
“I choose my current job because if you want a good job (in the civilian sector) that pays well and has a lot of job openings then intelligence is a big thing to get into now,” Giddens said. “After the Marine Corps, I plan on staying in the intelligence field because I actually like the job. Once I start college, I plan on getting a degree in either intelligence studies or intelligence analyst, or if it’s possible, getting a double major. I would like to get a job with the CIA or FBI once I have my degree.”
As of right now, Giddens would like to re-enlist and perhaps make a career out of the Marine Corps. He enjoys having the title of Marine though it has been difficult for him at times.
“I like being in the Marine Corps. Originally I didn’t plan on staying in for a full career, but at this point it might happen,” Giddens said. “I’ve enjoyed my time in the Marine Corps, but it’s been hard sometimes. The first time I went away on a deployment it was on the 31st MEU last year. During that deployment, I didn’t get to see my son being born, so things like that make it hard sometimes. But I still like it, and I enjoy my job.”
Now having a young son, leaving for his current deployment was even harder than the first.
“This time leaving was more difficult. Having a newborn son was the hardest part,” Giddens said. “Just leaving him for a year-long deployment was rough.”
While in southern Afghanistan, Giddens’ day-to-day job entails obtaining and formulating information to give the troops on the ground a clearer picture of the situation.
“We try to gather information on an area. We take what has happened, what is happening and combine those into what will happen,” Giddens said. “So we’re really trying to make things easier and safer for the people actually pushing out and doing the fighting. We just try to give them a 360 degree idea of what’s going in an area that way they won’t be surprised by anything they encounter.”
Editor’s note: This article is part of a series wherein every week we recognize an individual Marine or sailor with Regimental Combat Team 7. The Marines and sailors of RCT-7 are dedicated, disciplined and driven to accomplish the mission, and the Marine in this article has earned special recognition for standing out among these professionals. Be sure to check every week to see who will be honored as the latest Marine of the Week.