GySgt Rebecca Leal, U.S. Marine Corps

Now Promoted to MSgt

 
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I was born in Monterrey, Mexico, and was raised in Texas so I'm a total Texan. However, my rebirth was Parris Island South Carolina, OOORAH, where and when I became a United States Marine on December 22, 2002.

I love to read and write, and really anything that I can use for self-development and self-growth to learn new things and experiences.  I need to be active, staying healthy mentally, spiritually, and physically, and in all other aspects of life.  I have a loving son and am working on building a wonderful support of friends and family.

My Mother, the biggest hearted woman and my biggest supporter, taught me that anything done with grace and passion will stand out. She pushed me to become a part of something in uniform, she believed that those in uniform belong to something bigger were happy and had something to be proud of.  On the 3rd of September, she died from Breast Cancer, and I joined the 4th of September and arrived to boot camp 23 September, on my 19th birthday. I get chills talking about her because of how much my mother meant to me. Really, she is the reason I am where I am today!  She shaped my final decision and I have not looked back with regret, it has only given me perseverance to give all I can.

I overcame challenges by embracing my faults and my mistakes.  Looking in the mirror for self-reflection, I created a place of forgiveness in those that lead me or in my own leadership mistakes. I grew to understand the best way to lead people is to reach a place of mutual respect and try to always lead from the front or right beside someone as well as leading myself daily.  In order to be a great leader, I learned that I had to genuinely be a great person and genuinely care.   I learned to stand up after every embarrassment, mistake, or error.  Respect those that accept responsibility and allow mistakes in others and in myself.  I also learned after 14 years that I'm proud of myself and that I had never felt before

Self-Direction, Self-Discipline, Self-Reliance- these three intangibles have been instilled in me through the Marine Corps way of life. Being a great Marine is extremely important, but being a good citizen and good person is important! I am so proud to be an American. My parents fought for me and my siblings to have the American opportunity, and I couldn't be more proud to be an American and Salute my flag every time the National Anthem plays or the Tap sounds. I feel extremely lucky that my parents fought for the opportunity to the American way of Life.

Learn to slow down in the chaos, breathe, and embrace those good moments because your service isn't for you, it is for all those that treasure you. We serve for those we cherish.  Don't serve for an award, but serve to serve.  Don't forget to have a quality balance in all areas of your life. Aim to be the Pinnacle Leader, not the basic Leader based on RANK.

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I serve because I feel a part of something bigger, with the loss of both my parents. The Marine Corps became my family and I appreciate all those that have become my Brothers and Sisters, especially those that support my success as I do theirs.

I want my legacy to be imprinted in every person that I meet, as I strive to be an example of a positive leader, one that sets the example and shine through adversities and bounced back with grace and hard work, and a leader that is trusted for true leadership for my honesty, my empathy, and one that respects and learns from other leaders.  One that THRIVES in life not just lived day by day.

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