To avoid staying out of the trouble he saw his peers getting in, the young man chose to change directions and pursue his ambitions to join the Marine Corps.
Private First Class Le’Darius S. Scott, Bravo Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, grew up in West Memphis, Ark., with a big family, and he was raised by his older sister and mother.
“My parents separated around the time I was born,” said Scott. “We were close, but growing up was a little difficult.”
When he was 10 years old, Scott’s grandma took him and his family in after finding out they were going through hard times. As he was growing up, he helped his family with money by trying to sell food at his school, but because of school regulations, he couldn’t do it.
“I took care of my four little siblings all the time,” said Scott. “I looked after them and made sure they had everything they needed.”
As his younger siblings got older, Scott took it upon himself to be there for his family, so he tried to make money to support them. “I sold food at my siblings’ school, and I made around $300,” said Scott. “All the money I earned usually went toward my siblings. I worried about myself after I took care of them and their needs.”
Scott’s bonds with his younger siblings were stronger than he had with anybody else.
“They loved me,” said Scott. “If they ever needed anything, they would ask for it, and I would say, ‘I got you.’ I would make sure they went to bed on time and woke up to get ready for school.”
When it came to his own life, Scott knew he wanted to take a path that would benefit him, so he chose the military.
“I wanted to join ever since I was in 9th or 10th grade because I was tired of seeing the same old stuff,” said Scott. “I was offered a scholarship for track, but I didn’t want to do that. I didn’t want the chance of getting injured and losing it. I wanted more of a guarantee, so I chose the Marine Corps.”
Recruiters visited Scott’s school and home, but he had his mind set on the Marine Corps. He went in for an interview with a Marine recruiter and set up the next step in his life.
“I wanted to find a way to get me and my folks out of there,” said Scott. “You know all those kids out there doing bad stuff, I didn’t want that, and I don’t want that for my family.”
Scott picked up with Bravo Company, and just like many other recruits, he struggled to adapt.
“I wasn’t worried about the yelling because my mom yelled at us all the time growing up,’” said Scott, with a smile. “It was weird at first though because we had to address ourselves as ‘this recruit and that recruit.’”
Near the end of the first phase of training, Scott was selected by his senior drill instructor to be a squad leader.
“Being a squad leader was all right at first,” said Scott. “Some of the recruits would listen, but some wouldn’t. It was really a matter of if they cared or not. In that position, I could see those who would try slipping through the cracks and never put out.”
Scott tried to be the best example he could be and stay dedicated for his fellow recruits.
“I would stay up sometimes during fire watch to make sure everything got done,” said Scott. “If the other recruits needed help, they came to me for it sometimes.”
When he finally received his Eagle, Globe and Anchor, he was relieved with the feeling of finally making it.
“My motivation through it all was my family,” said Scott. “My family wrote me letters during training, and I wanted to stay tight with them. I also looked up to my senior drill instructor because he made sure I had everything I needed.”
Following recruit training, Scott will report to the School of Infantry at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., and then to his military occupational specialty school to become an administration specialist.
“I think I’ll stay in for four or eight years,” said Scott. “My goal is to do something with law, so maybe I’ll start my own firm.”
Story by Cpl. Angelica Annastas