View Full Version : DI's passion drives him toward excellence

08-25-03, 07:16 AM
DI's passion drives him toward excellence
Submitted by: MCRD San Diego
Story Identification Number: 200382218230
Story by Lance Cpl. Jess Levens

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT SAN DIEGO, Calif.(August 22, 2003) -- Many men have a passion for what they do, how they present themselves, and how they live. They have passion about their jobs and the product they produce.

One such man of passion is Staff Sgt. Jean-Yonel Ulceus, drill instructor, Platoon 1099, Company A. He was born in Port Au Prince, Haiti, 28 years ago. While on the island, he lived with his grandparents because his father moved to New York to prepare a new home and would send for him when the time was right.

When Ulceus reached the age of 11, the time was right. Ulceus moved to Hampstead, N.Y., in 1984, to live with his parents.

He entered high school and became an athlete, competing in multiple sports including football, wrestling and track and field.

Ulceus excelled in sports and several major colleges became interested in him. He was also passionate about academics. Ulceus was among the top students in all of New York.

Because of his academic achievements, he was accepted to every college he applied to, including the University of Maryland and Hofstra University in New York.

Ulceus had a big decision with what to make of his life. He then became interested in the military.

"I knew nothing about the American military," said Ulceus. "A Marine Corps recruiter approached me one day at school, and he sold the Marine Corps to me with his dedication and passion. I couldn't resist it."

Ulceus enlisted as a radio operator and left for recruit training, which he said he completed with no problems.

Once he finished his military occupational school, he was assigned to 5th Marine Regiment and sent to Marine Corps Base, Okinawa, Japan. Ulceus was also involved in several missions, including one that took place in Turkey.

During his time in the operating forces he became very passionate about the Corps. He said his command suggested he apply for drill instructor duty.

"My command was impressed with the way I carried myself," said Ulceus. "They told me being a drill instructor was right up my alley."

Ulceus applied to drill instructor school and was immediately accepted.

"Drill instructor school was challenging in many ways," said the brown-eyed Marine. "For me the hardest part was when we did the Crucible. I went through recruit training before the Crucible was a recruit training event, so I didn't know what to expect."

The Crucible wasn't too tough for Ulceus. He finished drill instructor school and was assigned to Company A.

"(Ulceus) is a drill instructor's drill instructor," said Staff Sgt. Bryan Tanner, senior drill instructor, Platoon 1099, Co. A. "He's extremely passionate about everything he does and he expects the best from everyone."

Ulceus said his first cycle as a drill instructor was very intense. He was constantly loud and active, always moving about.

"I really had no idea what was going on," said Ulceus. "I was on a very good drill instructor team and they constantly kept me up and aware of what to do."

Now in his fourth cycle, Ulceus said he has a different approach as a drill instructor.

"The way I train recruits now has drastically changed," said Ulceus. "I used to yell and scream all the time, but now, I'm more of a teacher. I've taken tools from other drill instructors I've met and developed my own style. And no matter what, I always stay passionate."

In his four cycles, Ulceus has won the Dan Daly Award for best drill instructor in the company, the Gunnery Sgt. Nichols Award for being the best new drill instructor in the battalion, and Regimental and Battalion Drill Instructor of the Quarter. He has also trained two honor platoons.

"Staff Sgt. Ulceus is very motivating," said PFC Erick Wirz, guide, Platoon 1099, Co. A. "His passion for training us motivates me every day."

Ulceus is soon to be a senior drill instructor, and said he will remain passionate about training recruits and whatever else the beloved Corps brings his way.


Staff Sgt. Jean-Yonel Ulceus, drill instructor, Platoon 1099, Company A, gives some final instructions on proper rifle manual, prior to Company A's final drill competition.
Photo by: Lance Cpl. Jess Levens