The Few, the Proud… the fact is, most of us only know what a Marine is from a commercial. Our definitions of their duties and missions often become influenced by media portrayals and grandiose stories of war. Many identities can become coalesced into uniforms and medallions, making individual efforts feel almost depreciated against a wider scope.
Here, you are invited to a more cordial meeting with our country’s elite team of defenders, donning those illustrious dress-blues.
Our meeting occurs at one New York City career center, where we welcome Sergeant Ryann Lett, food service specialist, team leader, and highly inspirational Marine. Sgt. Lett has spent five years of her life dedicated to serving by preparing home-cooked meals that keep Marines going. She uses her extensive training to provide proper nutrition, balance quantities daily, and maintain a flow of service that has proven time and again that those in her company can trust and rely on her.
Living a life similar to many American civilians, Marines are not held by strict rules. Overseas in Afghanistan, Sgt. Lett was able to send books, gifts, and use Skype to keep in touch with family and friends back home. While stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, Sgt. Lett used her weekends to see her father in Vegas, visit her aunt in LA, and went surfing at her leisure. Being able to hear, “My Marine is home” from her proud mother makes everything worthwhile.
Sgt. Lett’s radiant smile and firm, respectful handshake give an initial impression of a woman who is confident, proud, and content within herself, allowing her innermost beauty to shine. Read on to find out what makes this Marine so beautiful inside and out…
What inspired you to become a Marine?
I didn’t want to miss the opportunity. I feel that being a marine is my true calling. I followed my heart. I do remember speaking to my mother, finding she had also wanted to join the military. This may be the most positive influence in my decision.
What were some achievements you’ve earned while serving?
Anytime a Marine travels overseas, he or she gains a ranking. I have an M.U.C. (Meritorious Unit Commendation) ribbon for supporting women who are pushing forward to be within infantry divisions. I keep them fed and ready to sustain their training. I believe more women should belong to the infantry.
What are some accommodations Marines can make use of while enlisted?
Marines can take advantage of many benefits, such as pursuing a career, funding their education and gaining hands on experience while still serving this country. The Marines are highly accommodating and will go as far as they can to assist in your success in life.
What will you do after your military career?
After my service I plan to enter a career in law enforcement. I will use my experience and acquired skills in the Marines to reach that goal. Once I set my mind to something, I know I can do it. The Marines have helped enhance my mindset toward my success.
What are some of your favorite things to do during free time?
While deployed we were able to enjoy many fun moments, including movie nights, live entertainment, and many recreational activities. At one particular USO, every Friday was “Steak and Lobster Night.” While back on homeland, we were free to go where we pleased. I spent time visiting my family, going to the gym, and riding road bikes with my father when I could.
What are some of your positive memories from overseas?
I had many opportunities to show my team I care for their development. One notable moment was joining them to rectify a messy situation that was not directly caused by our team. Being a part of this bigger team, however, showcased how we all help each other despite rank. Only by working together can Marines be everything they are.
How do you define beauty?
To me, beauty is all about being comfortable within yourself. It’s being able to accept your uniqueness and embrace the truth of who you really are and want to be. There are many people who only adhere to a fashion sense when it is popular, or to even hide themselves. I find people are most beautiful embracing everything they are and being able to move comfortably, knowing themselves.
By Lorenzo I. Diggs