Fiscal year 2004 brings many options for reenlistment[MIGRATE]

By Pfc. Bernadette L. Ainsworth | September 19, 2003

Reenlistments are a special time for Marines, especially if it is their first time.  The choice to reenlist and where are up to the individual Marine.

There are many places a Marine can reenlist.

"The place has to be within the Marine Corps' budget, and it can't be off limits," said Staff Sgt. Ben Dillon, career planner here.

Some of the more popular places to reenlist are on the USS Missouri, at the Arizona Memorial and at the top of the Stairway to Heaven.

"I had one Marine request to reenlist at Iwo Jima, but it wasn't within the budget to do that," said Dillon.

Along with the popular places to reenlist, there are also many unusual places Marines choose to reenlist.

"I've had Marines reenlist on top of a 5-ton, at the top of Mt. Fuji and on the 18th green of a golf course," said Dillon.

Some Marines choose to reenlist at places filled with history such as the Arizona Memorial.  Others take on a more rugged approach when swearing to "defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic."

"One of my reenlistments was at the end of a 25-mile night hump," said Gunnery Sgt. Darryl Atkins, S-3 Chief.  "The whole battalion, about 800 people, was there.  No one could drop their packs until it was done.  It was motivating, probably because I'm a grunt."

The USS Missouri is a very popular place for reenlistments.

"It symbolizes the end of WWII.  I found it to be a great opportunity.  It's a great American symbol and I wanted it to be a part of my career," said Sgt. Josh Rule, vehicle transportation coordinator.

These are not the only places Hawaii Marines have reenlisted.  Some have also reenlisted at the Pacific War Memorial at MCB Hawaii, Kaneohe Bay, the Punchbowl, several locations in Waikiki, Diamond Head and at the Hale Koa Bar.

"Marines choose these places because it's something special that only happens once every four years.  It's a special commitment and they want to do the ceremony in at a place that means something to them," said Dillon.