YUMA, Ariz.- --
Life in the military is a path not many people take, even fewer take the road of becoming a U.S. Marine. The military in general has many challenges that service members learn to face throughout their career. Those challenges include going to school, taking care of their family and performing their military occupation specialties simultaneously, while also participating in exercises or preparing for deployments.
For Sgt. Michael Kirby, a radio chief with 3rd Platoon, Rocket Battery F, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marine Regiment, 4th Marine Division, learning how to balance his family, MOS, civilian career, training exercises and even managing to have time to help out his community is a top priority.
“It’s harder for the Reserve Marines,” said Kirby. “We balance full time jobs, a family, college and also being a Marine. You’re going high speed on all of it and you want to be the best at what you are doing in your civilian career, the Marine Corps and your family.”
Staff Sgt. Anthony Rubio, an inspector-instructor communication chief for 2/14, vouches for Kirby’s capability to uphold his responsibilities within the United States Marine Corps. According to Rubio, Kirby’s civilian career has never interfered with his performance as a Marine.
“He is a very intelligent human being,” said Rubio. “He has been at this unit as a radio operator for the longest time and knows how to get the job done. He is very proficient at his MOS. Because he’s such a hard worker, I don’t have to micromanage him. He knows how to get the job done, regardless of what the mission is.”
After completing his monthly drills, Kirby returns to his civilian career as an aircraft pneudraulic systems mechanic for the Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Kirby’s career entitles him to perform equipment maintenance, operational and functional checks on aircrafts to ensure that the aircraft is in top shape.
The Marine Corps has helped Kirby to stand out above his peers by developing the skills needed to becoming a better leader.
“All the principles and values of the Marine Corps are brought into my civilian life,” said Kirby. “The Marine Corps will set you above everyone else.”
Regardless of the amount of work and responsibility present on his daily routine, Kirby has adapted and became proficient at multitasking. He manages to exceed at his obligations and even find some extra time for himself. However, unlike the expected from any other individual, Kirby doesn’t spend his free time watching television or relaxing alone.
Kirby is constantly involved in volunteer work. He has helped on rescue operations in the aftermath of tornados and he’s an active participant of Toys for Tots program.
Eventually after all that he does Kirby will be deploying in the early year of 2018. He has been participating in exercises to prepare himself for the deployment.
“He has been waiting for this deployment for as long as he has been here, and I’m glad that he is one of the Marines that is going,” said Rubio. “If he wasn’t going, the Marines would have a hard time accomplishing or understanding the communication side.”
Even with his service to the Marine Corps, deployment, work as a mechanic and volunteer hours, Kirby eventually wants to go back to school to finish his education.
“I plan on going back to school after my deployment,” said Kirby. “I want to go back and go into mechanical or aerospace engineering. I think that it would help me in my career as a tinker.”