The Marine Corps creates a brotherhood among its members. Some Marines form a bond stronger than the many and find friends they will have forever.
Lance Cpl. Josias Arredondo and Lance Cpl. Sebastian Herrera are both administration specialist with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron on Marine Corps Air Station New River.
"When (Arredondo) checked in I was teaching him a lot, then somehow he got ahead of me. It was kind of like a hate then it turned into a friendship," said Herrera. "He got a higher billet and was second in charge even though I had been here longer. I was teaching him everything which didn’t make sense (to me). I just accepted it then we started hanging out. We just clicked."
Arredondo is a California native with two brothers. Before the Marine Corps he had been attending college and taking general education classes.
"After high school, I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with my life so I decided to go to college and did that for a little bit. I did part time work and full time work," said Arredondo. "Around 22 is when I decided I wanted to do something else. Finally, at 23 I was able to join."
Herrera is a Texas native with one brother. When he was 17 he and his parents signed his enlistment contract.
"Most parents don’t want their kid to go in the military but when I made up my mind, they were very supportive about it," said Herrera.
The five-year age difference doesn’t deter the pair at all. It helps grow their bond.
"(The age difference) doesn’t really matter because I learn from him and he can learn from me," said Arredondo.
"We’re both feeding off each other. He can teach me some life lessons and I can teach him about work," said Herrera.
Arredondo and Herrera came into the military with the same vision. What they do now is different from that goal. Arredondo came into the Marine Corps with an open contract wanting to be placed in the infantry while Herrera put admin as a third option.
"When people think of the military they think of all that cool stuff they get to do; blowing things up, shooting things," said Herrera. "That’s what we thought it was going to be when we signed up but…"
"It’s the complete opposite," said Arredondo. "Now we’re trying to follow our dreams and do what we came here to do."
The pair spends time improving themselves and preparing to achieve their goals.
"We go to the gym together to prepare. You have to prepare for hikes. You need stamina. You can’t give up," said Herrera. "The SOI instructors don’t necessarily look too much at it if you can’t do what they want you to do physically, but they want to see that you keep doing it and won’t give up. You can always improve. If you can’t do something but they see you won’t give up, they see potential."
Herrera has been in the Marine Corps for a little over a year. Arredondo has been in for about 10 months.
"I’ve been here a little longer so when my contract ends I’m going to try to extend a little longer so I can wait for him then try to lat move," said Herrera. "We (want) to go to (the School of Infantry) together."
"We’re going to start from the beginning together then do everything together," said Arredondo.
With the support of each other, Arredondo and Herrera continue to push and strive for their goals. Their bond reaffirmed with every step closer to their goal.
"We have our goals set. He hasn’t changed his mind and I haven’t changed mine," said Herrera.
"He gives me the extra motivation I need to help me accomplish the goals I have in the Marine Corps," said Arredondo. "He’s the type of person you look for in the Marine Corps to always have your back. He’s who I want fighting next to me."