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thedrifter
08-03-04, 07:53 AM
Alpha company DI keeps freedom in perspective
Submitted by: MCRD San Diego
Story Identification #: 2004730103347
Story by Cpl. Shawn M. Toussaint



MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif. (July 30, 2004) -- Every year Americans pass the responsibility of protecting the freedoms of this country to the thousands of volunteers who enter the military as defenders of peace.

Staff Sgt. Carlos E. Gutierrez, senior drill instructor, platoon 1081, Company A, is one who enthusiastically accepts that responsibility.

At approximately 3 o'clock in the morning on just about any day of the week, Gutierrez leaves his wife and two little girls at home to go make more protectors of freedom at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.

Gutierrez, who has been a Marine for nearly eight years and a drill instructor for two of those years, said there is nothing else he would rather do.

"I have wanted to be a Marine since I was 12 years old," said Gutierrez. "I never think about being a Marine as a job. It is not a job. It is who I am."

Gutierrez's desire to serve was fostered at an early age in his life. He spent many of his early childhood years in Mexico and moved to Colorado at age 7. He remembered the differences he saw in the two places and the struggles people experienced.

"It made me appreciate the freedoms and opportunities we have available in the United States," said Gutierrez.

"I've seen people who are just worrying about where their next meal is going to come from rather than what video game they are going to play next or what TV show is coming on at prime time."

Gutierrez is proud to say that he, as a drill instructor, has changed many of his recruits' attitudes about how they perceive their freedom.

"Some don't realize how much freedom they have until they come here," said Gutierrez. "They learn to appreciate all the things they got to do as civilians a lot more. Even more importantly, they learn that all of the freedom and opportunity we have is because someone is standing a post."

Gutierrez works to ensure all recruits he trains are fully qualified to stand any post and win any battle. His work ethic is one to be duplicated by peers, said Staff Sgt. Martin J. Brewer, chief drill instructor, Company A.

"He is a hard worker and is very demanding with all of his recruits," said Brewer who has known Gutierrez since Drill Instructor School. "His ability to lead by example is the reason he was appointed to the billet of series gunnery sergeant, beginning next cycle."

Gutierrez has earned many awards since beginning his tour aboard the depot, including the Dan Daly Award and two Band of Brothers Awards.

Gutierrez also holds the highest physical fitness test score in Company A.

Even with all of those honors, Gutierrez said that his proudest moments were the births of his two children.

"He is very family oriented," said Brewer. "He is able to keep things in the proper perspective and balance, which is critical to success on the drill field."

Gutierrez looks to a long future in the Marine Corps and is passionate about protecting the future of this country and his family.

"Freedom is not free," said Gutierrez. "It is something worth fighting for because many before me and after me have and will die for it. I am proud to do my part in ensuring the American dream will always be there for generations to come."

http://www.usmc.mil/marinelink/image1.nsf/Lookup/2004730103720/$file/09DI_Gutierrez_lr.jpg

Staff Sgt. Carlos E. Gutierrez, senior drill instructor, Platoon 1081, Company A, drills his platoon during graduation practice July 22. Photo by: Cpl. Shawn M. Toussaint

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