Sailors are about to get a taste of what like to have a Marine gunny as their leader.
Since the day Gunnery Sgt. Sgt Bothvill Valcin met a commissioned officer at boot camp in 2000, he thought about going mustang. After 13 years in the Corps, a college degree, deployments to the Middle East and Asia, and working with special operations units, something was still missing from the gunny’s life: his commission.
The Marine Corps gave him a lot of opportunities, he said, according to a Marine Corps news release. Just not the chance to become an officer, despite several applications.
But the Navy did. So the gunny is jumping ship — or onto a ship. He’s joining the Navy.
“I know that starting off as an ensign, or a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps, is not the top of the totem pole,” Valcin said, according to the release. “But I know the position that I’m in can really influence other service members the same way officers in my life have made a tremendous difference on me.”
Valcin recently embarked on the destroyer Donald Cook to shadow surface warfare officers as he works towards his commission, the release states. Despite their friendly rivalry, Valcin said he doesn’t feel like he’s starting in a new branch.
“What I’ve seen here in my two weeks here is that, yes, we’re different branches, but we’re on the same mission,” he said. “My goal is to go as far as the Navy will take me.”