MARINE CORPS BASE, CAMP H.M. SMITH --
A humble farm boy and son of a preacher man from Monticello, Ga. is reaping what he has sowed in the Marine Corps, after setting himself up for success and emulating other successful devil dogs.
Sgt. Danny Sorrells, customer liaison section noncommissioned officer in charge, MARFORPAC G-6, has been accepted into the Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program after a busy first enlistment.
Sorrells, who enlisted in January 2004, said, “I joined to go over seas and fight, and I got to do that twice.”
He deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom as a radio operator with a weapons company. When he was in Iraq in 2006, Sorrells decided staying in and becoming an officer was the way to go.
“When I was in Iraq, I got to work closely with Cobra pilots, and that sparked my interest,” the Jasper County High School graduate said. “I saw that I met the qualifications and started asking questions.”
Maj. Eric W. Kelly, Sorrells’ former company commander in Iraq, was one of his mentors during his deployment.
“Maj. Kelly led from the front and took care of his troops first,” said Sorrells. “He was enlisted himself and encouraged me to pursue the MECEP program when I told him I was interested.”
Kelly, now in Korea, still checks on Sorrells and his progress in the MECEP program.
“Sorrells’ has a great desire to lead Marines and the ability to do so,” said Kelly. “His dedication to duty and maturity make him stick out among his peers.”
After Sorrells reenlisted in October, he received a training incentive. He will attend jump school in January and then continue on to San Diego for MECEP preparatory school, but not before going to Uganda.
“It’s not a military exercise, it’s a mission trip,” said Sorrells. “I’ve always been active in missions since I grew up in church.
“We’ll be going to Uganda to help build shelters, and I will teach some of the residents how to farm,” said Sorrells, who attends Kailua Community Church.
Sorrells’ wife, Laurie, will be accompanying him there as well.
“We both grew up in church and have always had a heart for missions,” said Laurie Sorrells. “Danny has always been good with children and people in general.
“When we go back home, they give him the biggest welcome you’ve every seen for a southern, country church in Georgia,” she said. “People admire him and he’s a good leader.”
To enhance his leadership skills, Sorrells also took time to volunteer as the color sergeant in the MARFORPAC color guard.
“It’s an honor to bear the Marine colors and the nations colors during the ceremonies – it motivates me,” said Sorrells. “I always feel honored to give back to the veterans.
“We got to speak with Korean and Vietnam War veterans and hear their stories and what they faced during that time period,” he said.
Not only does he give to veterans, but Sorrells is also getting involved with a tutoring program for students at Aiea High School.
“I like serving the community, and tutoring kids in science is one way I can do that,” said Sorrells. “I’ll continue to tutor until I leave the island.”
There were many officers, staff NCOs and NCOs that helped Sorrells throughout his career and he has learned to pass that help on to his junior Marines as well.
“He always tells me to strive for self-improvement,” said Lance Cpl. Joshua J. Robey, a customer liaison section Marine. “When he can’t give me the answers or help I need, he can always point me to someone who can.”
Once Sorrells finishes his time on-island and his preparatory school in San Diego, he hopes to attend either University of Texas at Austin or University of Auburn in Alabama.
“I’m already a Longhorns fan, and Auburn is closer to home, so we’ll see what God has planned,” said Sorrells. “I just want to encourage Marines to always seek improvement and opportunities, because there are a lot of them out there.”
After Sorrells finishes his degree in political science and completes his career in the Corps, he plans on moving into politics – “maybe even president someday,” he said.