MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. — A cancer survivor from Brick Township, New Jersey, is currently four weeks from surviving Marine Corps Recruit Training here, the most rigorous basic training in the U.S. military.
Michael Campofiori has excelled through his first nine weeks of training, earning a squad leader role in Platoon 2020, Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion.
“Immediately, Campofiori began to note what he needed to work on and seek self-improvement,” said Staff Sgt. Roy A Covington III, senior drill instructor of Platoon 2020. “He began to embody the leadership principals that I teach, so I made him a squad leader.”
Campofiori was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 11 and went through chemotherapy during his five-year battle with the cancer.
When his cancer went into remission at age 16, he decided to pursue a career in the Marine Corps, but his struggles continued.
Campofiori was repeatedly turned away by recruiters who doubted the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery would approve the waiver that would be required as a result of his medical history. He began to explore enlistment options with other branches and started traveling the East Coast in search of a recruiter who would give him a chance.
After moving to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Campofiori found the Marine recruiters of Recruiting Substation Myrtle Beach. For four years, he attended RSS Myrtle Beach pool meetings, which prepare members of the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program for the rigors of recruit training.
“I attended every physical training event that they’ve had... The recruiters helped me mentally and emotionally, which helped me to prepare for recruit training,” said Campofiori.
Campofiori is now setting his sights on the Crucible, a 54-hour culminating event that tests all recruits’ basic Marine Corps knowledge and skills.
Campofiori will take on the Crucible next week. Afterwards, he will undergo a battery of tests, gauging his general Marine Corps knowledge, and begin a transition period that prepares recruits to move on from Parris Island to their future duty stations.
Campofiori is on track to graduate March 8. Afterwards, he will enjoy 10 days of well-deserved leave before continuing to the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger.