View Full Version : Marine's desire to be the best started with military family ties

10-04-03, 06:47 AM
Marine's desire to be the best started with military family ties
Submitted by: MCRD San Diego
Story Identification Number: 200310319723
Story by Lance Cpl. Edward R. Guevara Jr.

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif.(October 3, 2003) -- Men and women from all branches of the armed forces serve under the Secretary of Defense.

No one has more favor with the secretary than another. However, in the eyes of one former secretary's grandson, there is one service that stands out.

"I've always wanted to be a Marine," said Pvt. Nicolas M. Perry, Platoon 3013, Company L.

Perry was exposed to the military at an early age by his grandfather, former Secretary of Defense, William J. Perry.

The elder Perry, a professor at Stanford University with a doctorate in mathematics, does not take credit for his grandson's decision to join the few and the proud. But Nicolas did look to his grandfather to help him learn as much as he could about the Corps before making the decision.

Nicolas attended his grandfather's swearing in as deputy secretary of defense in 1993 and was at his swearing in as secretary of defense in 1994.

"As I watched my grandfather get sworn in, I saw all of the services in their uniforms," Nicolas said.

"The Marines looked the best in their dress blues. You can tell, even on the outside, they are different than everyone else."

Every Marine Nicolas met impressed him, according to the former defense secretary.

"He lived within a few miles and came over often," said Dr. Perry. "He would come to visit when I was in Washington (D.C.)."

During those visits, Nicolas met military service members who worked with his grandfather.

"He met my (senior) military assistant, Brig. Gen. John Rhodes (now a retired lieutenant general)," said Dr. Perry. "He was impressed with him."

Nicolas was also exposed to the other services. Dr. Perry's junior aide, a Navy captain, took them out to tour a destroyer, and he was also introduced to military aircraft, according to Dr. Perry.

"He chose the Marines because they are a very elite unit," Dr. Perry said.

Nicolas decided to contact a Marine recruiter and was very impressed with him as well.

"Nicolas developed a wonderful image (of the Marine Corps) based on who he met," said Dr. Perry.

According to Dr. Perry, he and Nicolas went to dinner with Thomas E. Ricks, author of "Making the Corps", a book written about experiences in Marine recruit training. Ricks talked with them about his experiences following recruits through training.

Dr. Perry gave him the book to show him the realization of what he would go through and instead of discouraging Nicolas, the book made him more interested and ready to take up to the challenge.

In addition to taking on challenges, Nicolas continually seeks new ones, according to Dr. Perry.

"He likes to be challenged; that's why he's becoming a Marine," said Dr. Perry.


Pvt. Nicolas M. Perry, Platoon 3013, Company L, renders a rifle salute. Perry is the grandson of former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry.
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Edward R. Guevara Jr.


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