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06-07-03, 09:01 AM #1
Retired Marine owes education to Corps
Submitted by: MCAS Miramar
Story Identification Number: 20036523274
Story by Cpl. Krystal N. Leach
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif.(June 6, 2003) -- The sound of fingers steadily tapping the keyboard of a laptop computer was drowned out by the thunderous noise of artillery rounds as they shook the earth around him. A Combined Arms Exercise in the California desert is probably not an environment conducive to schoolwork, but for one Marine, the preparation for life after the Corps took great importance.
Despite the obstacles faced with deployments and job responsibilities, he continued to pursue his college degree.
Retired Gunnery Sgt. Jose Romubio started out by taking college classes while stationed here as Marine Aircraft Group 11 communications chief. He was determined to set himself up for success in the afterlife of a twenty-year career in the Marine Corps.
"The hardest thing was getting started," Romubio confided. "Walking into the base education office and signing up for a class was a challenge."
At that time, Romubio had no idea of what was in store for his future, but 60 college classes later he would become Miramar College Class of 2003 valedictorian with a grade point average of 4.0.
Romubio recalled how the Marine Corps' education benefits helped ease the process of getting started.
"MCAS Miramar offers on base classes, which made it more convenient for me to take my classes while still in (uniform)."
When Romubio graduated from high school he lacked the confidence to immediately attend college like most of his peers.
"I convinced myself that I would fail if I went straight to school," the Perry, Ga., native confessed. "So I signed up for the Marine Corps instead and one month later I found myself at Parris Island for recruit training."
After serving his country and the Corps, filling various billets like recruiting duty and moving up the promotion ladder, his confidence skyrocketed.
"I was the top recruiter in my district," he commented.
However, college was still not yet a priority. But after an unexpected career change, he decided otherwise.
"The Marine Corps turned out to be a good career choice, so I never really thought about college," he said.
"After years of working on the flight line as a power plant fuel systems mechanic, I developed a hearing problem," he explained.
Romubio was then transferred to the communications field here to learn a new job as communications chief. He did not know then that the skills learned there would later assist him in life.
"The Marine Corps sent me to various schools where I earned different computer certifications," Romubio reflected. "The Corps taught me many skills; it matured me and taught me discipline, which helped me through many changes in life to include my becoming the class valedictorian."
During his last two years in the Marine Corps, Romubio worked earnestly toward degree completion.
Only a few months prior to retirement in August 2002, he found a job as system administrator for Copely Press, one of the largest press companies in the country.
He confessed that he owes a lot to the Marine Corps for giving him a better opportunity in being successful once he left the military.
"It provided me with the tools for a smooth transition into the civilian community," he said.
Romubio said that he advises Marines to get their education while still enlisted.
"I encourage every Marine to take advantage of what the Corps has to offer. Don't wait," he said. "Even if you start with one class. Once you take the ball it just keeps on rolling."
Now, sitting comfortably in his private office in La Jolla preparing his speech for Friday's graduation, he stops in mid-sentence glancing out the window overlooking one of San Diego's finest views. He then reflects back for a moment on the tool that made it all possible.
"The Marine Corps taught me to do my best. It just so happened that my best was getting me A's," he concluded.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
ONE PROUD MARINE
Once a Marine...Always a Marine
08-14-09, 10:20 AM #2
Dou know How I could get in touch with Jose Romubio?
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