Inchul Ha, a 2009 Mount Carmel School alumnus, was recently promoted to the rank of first lieutenant in the U.S Marine Corps.
Ha, a Logistics Officer stationed in Camp Pendleton, California, attended the University of New Mexico for four years and earned a bachelor’s degree in University Studies, comprising of business, naval science, and psychology courses.
After graduation, the 24-year-old said the time leading up to his promotion was filled with many doubts and obstacles.
“When I first started out, I would have never imagined I would be where I am now. I had to work part time, take full course loads every semester, be up at 5am every day for ROTC, volunteer some weekends, and somehow find some time to have some fun,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Ha explained that growing up in the island community and attending the island’s sole Catholic education institution were key in his full development as an individual.
“I was brought up more traditionally and was taught values and morals at an early age,” he added. “Going to school in MCS we were fortunate to have several mentors in our teachers who genuinely showed interest in our success and well-being. When you strayed too far from the correct path, they were always there to guide you back. So all of this attributed to my success because it provided me with a strong platform for me to launch from. “
Ha advises island youth who want to join the armed forces to conduct thorough research about their desired vocation.
“It’s easy to be swayed by the commercials you see on TV and advertisements. Sometimes you just don’t know what you’re getting yourself into, and once you sign the dotted line, you belong to Uncle Sam,” he said.
He cautions interested youth to seek guidance from experienced individuals in order to determine if the field is right for them.
More importantly, he noted, students should not change their true identity when entering the military.
“If they do decide to join, they should work very hard,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what branch you go into but hard work is always noticed and rewarded if it is genuine.”