CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan —
By Marine Corps standards, a Tifton native’s rise through the ranks has been nothing short of meteoric.
In less than four years Staff Sgt. Zane Moorman pinned on the rank of sergeant, accomplishing what takes many Marines twice as long to do. After deploying to Afghanistan for a second time, his seniors saw exemplary leadership potential in him, and he earned a combat meritorious promotion to the rank of staff sergeant less than five years after joining the military.
Now the regimental radio chief for Combat Logistics Regiment 2, Regional Command (Southwest), Moorman recently rededicated himself to his Marines and the Marine Corps when he reenlisted here during his third deployment to Afghanistan in September.
It’s been less than eight years since he first donned the uniform.
“It’s a great honor to know I have the opportunity to serve another four years, to lead and guide the future of the Marine Corps,” said Moorman after his reenlistment. “As a man, without the uniform on, I don’t need to be in the Marine Corps. I could be successful outside the military, but I want to be here to help contribute to our success in the future as the best fighting organization in the world.”
Moorman said every day is an opportunity. The chance to serve is not a duty, but a gift.
“What I expect of myself, I put into my Marines,” he said. “I always go back to the [principle] know yourself and seek self-improvement. We wake up every day and say, ‘We’re here, it’s a good day. Life is good.’ But what can we do to make things better for ourselves, our Marines and the Marine Corps? That’s how I go about it … not settling for anything less.”
His zeal for leadership and tradition are not new. Moorman received numerous accolades throughout his career. He earned the Gung-Ho award upon completion of the Martial Arts Instructor Course in 2007 and later took the Honor Graduate and Leadership award for his performance at the Marine Corps’ notoriously-tough Drill Instructor School.
Moorman served two years as a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., where his own military carrier began. Despite the exhausting work pace in the training environment, where 130-hour work weeks are the norm, Moorman personally loved the experience of nurturing and hardening the next generation of Marines.
“The feeling of taking civilians, molding and shaping them into the future of the Marine Corps, was amazing,” he said.
“They come in civilians, and we teach them everything they know about the Marine Corps. It’s an awesome feeling and an honor to be able to do that.”
Moorman bore witness to his recruits’ transformation while remembering what it meant to him when he first joined the military. For all of his success and sacrifice, he said the origin of his own love for Marines, Corps and tradition came from his early days in the military.
“They were definitely passed down to me,” recalled Moorman. “The second time I went to Parris Island, when I was a drill instructor, did not change me. It did not make me into a keeper of traditions. I was like that since day one. My drill instructor instilled that in me, and I’ve been like that ever since.”
Known for his firm demeanor and love for physical training, Moorman took his experiences at Parris Island with him when he joined his current unit for what will likely be his final deployment to Afghanistan.
“What I expect of myself, I put into my Marines,” said Moorman. “I don’t expect them to do anything I don’t do or have not already done … Every day I hope I make a difference in my subordinates’, leaders’ and peers’ lives. That’s why I stick around.”
He said experience has taught him how to work with people, pick his battles, and when to be firm. It’s also taught him hard work pays off.
“The Marine Corps is what you make of it,” said Moorman. “What you put in is what you’re going to get out.”
This article originally appeared online at www.dvidshub.net. Used with permission.