QUANTICO, Va., Sept. 26, 2017 —
The Marine Corps prides itself on its strides toward diversity, with nearly 16 percent of all enlisted Marines being Hispanic.
Every year, the Corps acknowledges the contributions of its Hispanic and Latino service members by recognizing their culture and heritage Sept. 15-Oct. 15, National Hispanic Heritage Month.
Marine Corps Cpl. Saul Huerta-Magdaleno embodies this year's theme of "Shaping the Bright Future of America." He was born and raised in Mexico and moved to the United States in 2011 at age 16.
Huerta joined the Corps April 21, 2014, in Chicago, where he had lived since his family came to the United States.
"Ever since I was little, I always told myself that if I ever joined the military, I was going to join the best of the best," he said. "The Marine Corps is the best of the best." Huerta is now an artillery cannoneer and instructor at The Basic School at Camp Barrett here, and he coaches newly commissioned officers on firing howitzers during field training.
First to Volunteer
"He is always one of the first to volunteer for any task that comes up," said Marine Corps Cpl. Joseph Eisman, a fellow artillery cannoneer and instructor. "Each day, he strives for the best and pushes his body to the limit to accomplish his goals, whether they be in his personal life or within the Marine Corps."
Huerta comes from a large family of businessmen, doctors, engineers and pharmacists, and he credits his accomplishments to their example. "I was raised with great values," he said. "They taught me well. They taught me what to do to become a successful man."
Attending school full-time to study software engineering, Huerta said he hopes to add a minor in cybersecurity. Meanwhile, he added, he's networking so he is ready when he transitions out of the service, including working with a major information technology company.
Post-Marine Corps Opportunity
"They have a program for cybersecurity, networking and software engineering that I'll be starting in October," he said. "Once I graduate, they said they'd offer me a job [after the Marine Corps], which will give me the opportunity to go to school and finish my degree while I'm working for them full time."
Huerta said his successes can be attributed to his family and the Marine Corps, solidifying his dedication to the United States, enhancing his job proficiency and furthering his education to shape a bright future for himself and the nation.
"I'd say what defines Huerta the best is a quote by Winston Churchill," Eisman said. "'If you're going through hell, keep going.' Corporal Huerta is the epitome of this -- a dedicated and strong-willed Marine."