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Decorated Infantry Soldier Becomes Marine

military is a life changing experience, and reaching the end of a contract can
sometimes lead to an emptiness that can only be filled by joining the ranks again.

Marine Corps Private First Class Sean F. Evans, Charlie Company, 1st Recruit
Training Battalion here, felt that emptiness since leaving the Army almost six years
ago, and believed the Marine Corps was the best way to fill the void.

Evans says he was always interested in the infantry. In 2004, at age 18, he enlisted
in the Army to become an infantryman. After infantry school, he attended airborne
school and then reported to his first unit — the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 25th
Infantry Division, at Fort Richardson, Alaska.

Less than two years later, Evans was deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi
Freedom, where he spent a year conducting patrols, executing missions involving
high-value targets and cross-training with Iraqi forces. During his tour, he received
several individual awards, including the Combat Infantryman Badge (CIB).

A Second Deployment
Back in Alaska, Evans continued training with his unit. When he was halfway done
with his initial contract, his unit was slated for another deployment to Afghanistan,
but going back would require Evans to extend his contract with the Army for
another year.

“I wanted to go again,” he said. “I loved my time on my first deployment and wanted
to stay with my unit and go back for more.”

Evans explained that many members of his unit had been together since basic
training, so they all shared a strong bond. Before he left the Army, he wanted to
share one more deployment with his brothers.

By January 2009, Evans was back on the ground in the Middle East in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom, and explained this deployment was different than the

“We weren’t the primary force in Afghanistan,” said Evans. “We didn’t conduct nearly
as many operations as we did when we were in Iraq but still engaged in combat a
few times.”

While in Afghanistan, Evans worked with and supported Afghan forces, which
included providing support at police stations and stabilizing the Afghan military.

Evans spent a year overseas and in February of 2010, made the trip back home to
Alaska. Less than two months later, he ended his service in the Army and travelled
back to his hometown of Palm Springs, Florida.

Something Missing
After his separation from the Army, Evans felt like something was missing from his
life. He soon moved to Arizona to attend the Universal Technical Institute, where,
after two years, he received his associate’s degree.

He worked for four years as a detention officer for the Maricopa Sheriff’s
Department in Arizona.

“Throughout my time working at the detention center, I felt like something was
missing,” Evans said. “I knew I missed the Army, but I kept reminding myself why I

He explained his bond with the members of his unit was something that nothing
compared to in a lot of ways; he longed for it, but was not interested in going back to
the Army’s ranks.

“I always wanted to be a Marine,” Evans said. “I just liked the opportunities that the
Army had at the time I was enlisting.”

In 2015, Evans married his girlfriend, Jovana, who supported his decision to return
to military service.

Filling the Hole
They lived a block away from a Marine Corps recruiting station, and after explaining
his situation to the recruiters, he said they began the paperwork without hesitation.

In February of 2016, Evans found himself again at recruit training, only this time
standing tall on the yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego as a
Marine Corps recruit.

He remembered his experiences in Basic Combat Training with the Army and said
that it was hard to compare.

“There’s so much of a difference between the Army and Marine Corps basic
training,” Evans said. “There’s a lot more aggression and responsibility than there
is in the Army.”

He described recruit training as a humbling experience for a combat veteran.

“I have seen a lot of what we learn firsthand,” Evans said. “I wanted to let the young
recruits take the responsibilities and leadership roles so that they don’t miss out on
the valuable things they can learn from this training.”

Following graduation from recruit training, Evans will report to the School of Infantry
at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, to train as a Marine Corps
infantryman. He said he plans on trying out to be a reconnaissance Marine or a
Marine Raider and making a career out of the Corps.