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2nd Lt. Zachary Bowman stands proud with his family on graduation day at Officer Candidate School, Quantico, Virginia, Aug. 11, 2018. Bowman lost over 40 pounds on his journey to become a Marine Corps officer. Bowman will pursue the military occupation specialty of a judge advocate after The Basic School. (Curtesy photo provided by 2nd Lt. Zachary Bowman)

Photo by Cpl. Jorge A. Rosales

Man shed a fifth of his weight to become Marine Corps Officer

13 Aug 2018 | Cpl. Jorge A. Rosales 6th Marine Corps District

2nd Lt. Zachary Bowman, a native of Greensburg, Pennsylvania, had what most would consider a successful life. After graduating from Winthrop University, Bowman relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he began a career in real estate. Though his new job was everything he had worked for in college, he was left feeling unfulfilled.

Bowman missed being part of a team. “I had always been on a team sport and a team atmosphere, but I didn’t have much of that anymore.” said Bowman.

Bowman found what he was looking for at the beginning of 2017, in a CrossFit gym.

“One coach there was a Marine.” said Bowman. “There was a picture of him and all his buddies from the Marine Corps on the wall. I saw it every day when I would come in. That’s when I realized the Marine Corps is something I would like to do.”

Bowman’s mind was set, but he had an obstacle to overcome, his weight. By Marine Corps standards, Bowman was 35 pounds overweight and scored low on his initial physical fitness test.

“When I decided on the Marine Corps I was 250 pounds.” said Bowman. “But I came out of a complacency state and started working out every day, and by the time I was ready to leave for OCS (Officer Candidate School) I was 213 pounds.”

Bowman lost nearly 40 pounds in less than a year in order to become an officer candidate. On Aug 11, 2018, Zachary Bowman became 2nd Lt. Bowman an officer in the U.S. Marines Corps. Bowman’s family members traveled from Pennsylvania to Quantico, Virginia to witness the now 197-pound Bowman graduate OCS and commission.

“I am very proud of him!” said his mother, Tammy Bowman. “I would have never thought he would have done anything like this. If you told me back then, that he was going to join the military, I would have said you were crazy.”

Bowman is aspiring to become a lawyer and the Marine Corps has created a path for him to achieve his goal. After completing The Basic School, Bowman will be attending the Naval Justice School, where he will learn the basic aspects of military law and responsibilities of a Marine Corps judge advocate.

“He used to tell me that he wanted to be lawyer,” said Tammy Bowman. “I told him that he wouldn’t be making a lot of money in that, but without hesitation he said to me ‘I don’t care about the money, I want to help people and serve my country,’ and that’s my son.”

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