MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. --
A young child who wanted to become an architect ended up enlisting to be a part of the brotherhood of the Marine Corps.
Growing up, all Capt. Alexis Sanchez wanted to do was designing work of art, so he went to a fine performing arts high school to study and prepare his art portfolio to be submitted to a college. With a sudden change of heart, 18-year-old Sanchez decided he wanted to become a Marine.
Sanchez, the operations officer for S-3, Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, remembers when he first saw the Marine Corps poster advertisement with Chesty Puller holding a sword, and his mom used to joke with him about how he should join the Corps. He gave her the same answer every time, 'No way mom, because they kill people.'
As he became of age, a recruiter started to call him and gave him another option to consider after graduating high school. A bit wiser and after seeing another kid at school who was in the Delayed Entry Program, Sanchez decided that it was time for a change, so he walked right up to the recruiting station and enlisted.
After Sanchez was enlisted for seven and a half years, he figured it was time for another change, but wasn't ready to leave the Corps yet. So he earned a commission through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program.
"Having the enlisted background, it gives me the sanity check, I know what works and what doesn't," said Sanchez, 31, from Paterson, N.J.
Having been prior enlisted, Sanchez can relate to enlisted Marines, which has helped him out tremendously in his job.
As the S-3 operations officer, his job is to develop a pre-deployment training plan, which involves attending meetings to discuss different types of training and coordinating with subordinate units and outside agencies.
"If I take time to do a detailed plan now, it would eliminate a lot of headaches down the road," Sanchez said. "Marines would be able to train properly with no downtime.
Knowing that I have contributed to something that would affect the Marines and bring them back safely from deployments due to proper training, it makes me feel good about my job."
His junior Marines agree that he is a very approachable person, who they can come to for anything, and he treats them with the utmost respect.
"Treat others like how you want to be treated; I have always followed this concept in my career," Sanchez said. "You can always learn something from anyone."
Sanchez said he treats his Marines the way he would treat his children. He spends time with them to get to know them and help them do well.
"I want to be able to wake up every morning and push my kids to do their best by mere example. That translates to my professional career by wanting to push my Marines to do their best by setting the example as well," said Sanchez.
Sanchez likes to meet people in person, and he said doing so makes it easier to actually get to know that person. In the process, he is able to get out of the office and meet a lot of people.
One way he likes to spend time outside the office is participating in one of Headquarters Company's softball teams.
"I enjoy participating on the softball team because it allows me to engage the Marines outside of work, and I believe it builds camaraderie," said Sanchez, who plays left-center field, pitcher and first base for 1st MLG team, The Dirty Dogs.
Sanchez plans to stay in the Corps for at least 20 years. Once he retires, he hopes to become either a math or Spanish teacher. This way, he can keep on passing down his knowledge and continue to make a difference in someone's life.