MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. --
When Gunnery Sgt. Anthony Molnar, drill instructor, Company C, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, joined the Marine Corps, he followed in the footsteps of his older brother.
But his reasons were all his own.
When he decided to enlist, he was heading down a bad path, realized it early, and decided to make a change for the better.
“After high school all my friends went off to college and I didn’t,” said Molnar. “I got in with the wrong crowd and started down a road that was sure to land me in prison.”
Shortly afterwards he attended his older brother’s graduation from Marine Corps recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
“I saw the change in my brother and realized that the structure and direction the Corps had given him was exactly what I needed,” he said. “Two weeks later I was on the yellow footprints myself. That was 11 years ago.”
Although Molnar’s primary occupational specialty is administration clerk, he traded his computer for a campaign cover in late 2007, and found another reason to be a Marine.
“Being a drill instructor is a way to make a difference in not only the Marine Corps, but in young men’s lives,” said Molnar.
Molnar said that some of the recruits have never had a male role model in their lives. He said that when they get here, the drill instructor becomes that role model, that father figure. To know the example you set will change that young man’s life, is monumental, he said.
But it isn’t all about teaching new recruits how to be good Marines for Molnar; it is about making them into better men.
“I think if you can make someone into a good man, they will be a good Marine as well. The two things go together,” he said. “We don’t just teach them about the Marine Corps values and being professional in their military careers, but also about how to be professional young men in their everyday lives.”
Subjects such as managing their finances, preventing sexual harassment and setting the example are blended in with the Marine Corps values of honor, courage and commitment.
“In the end, our goal as drill instructors is to produce the best Marines we can,” said Molnar.
As a Corps, we have two main jobs: to make Marines and win battles. The commandant says we make quality citizens as well. All of those things start with the example set by the drill instructor, said Molnar.
He advises those who think about becoming drill instructors to know why they are making that choice.
“Come into this job for the right reasons,” he said. “As a drill instructor, you have to deal with a lot of stress. If you come just for a hat, rank or a ribbon, those things that stress you out can overwhelm you. Come to make a difference in not only the Marine Corps, but in the lives of young men.”