Answering her calling

Ever since she was little, junior Jillian Adolf could only imagine herself becoming one thing— a U.S. Marine.


Junior Jillian Adolf knows the path to her becoming a U.S. Marine will not be easy, but she considers it her purpose in life (Photo Credit: Alana Sullivan).

Most high-schoolers, and even many college students, don’t know exactly what profession they want as a career. This is certainly not the case for junior Jillian Adolf,who has known since she was little exactly what she wanted to be when she ‘grew up’— a U.S. Marine.

While other little kids liked playing board games or coloring, Adolf preferred watching old war movies with her dad, which offered her a first glimpse at what would become her dream and passion.

“They’re still my favorite,” said Adolf. “I was like ‘That’s so cool, I want to do that.'”

Movies were just the beginning. Soon Adolf was devotedly watching the popular television crime drama NCIS, which is centered on a U.S. Marine turned Special Agent, Gibbs, who leads investigations of crimes committed in the military. Gibbs, Adolf’s favorite fictional character, was another major source of inspiration for her. Coupled with this, Adolf was speaking with several relatives who were/are in the military and poring over her grandfather’s war journals and tactics notes.

“I would spend hours reading them . . . I was always interested in the topic, and it expanded from there,” said Adolf with a grin.

Today, Adolf has several new motivators. She knows she would never like a desk job, and, more importantly, she wants to take part in helping solve and fix situations around the world that we see broadcast on the news and radio. There is still, of course, an inexplicable feeling within Adolf that this is her purpose.

“I don’t know what it is. I really don’t,” said Adolf. “But it’s something that I just feel I have to do.”

Adolf has gathered information and mapped out the steps she needs to take to become a U.S. Marine. One of the first is to join a Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), which is offered through many colleges and universities. This will also help pay for her schooling. After graduating, she hopes to will earn the title ‘Officer’, and will proceed to basic training in the military field of her choice— the same process Adolf’s grandfather went through.

“I can still go to college, and I can still get a degree in case I ever retire from the military and want to continue working, but I’ll also get the training I’ll need to further my military career,” said Adolf.

As excited and prepared as Adolf is for the program and training, she is under no impression that it will be easy, especially as a woman in male-dominated profession. While she has received overwhelming support from her family, other people have approached Adolf with concerns over her being a woman in the military.

“I have had some people bash women in the military,” said Adolf. “I’ve had people tell me that it’s not a place for women, that females aren’t capable of taking the pressure. But to me that’s just one more challenge.”

In these situations, Adolf usually nods politely and walks away, as she believes everybody is entitled to their own opinion. However, Adolf personally believes that making it in the military is not dependent on gender, but rather on personal strength, resilience, and capability.

Currently, Adolf is researching ROTC programs and meeting with different military officials to discuss her options and plan for the future. Her dream is to attend Texas A&M University, one of the schools that offers the best ROTC programs for those wishing to enter into the U.S. Marine Corps. After that, Adolf doesn’t know exactly where the military life will take her, but she firmly believes that whatever she does, it will be an honor to serve her country.

“It’s not really the recognition I’m looking for,” said Adolf. “It’s just something I feel is necessary in my life. I guess you could call it my calling.”