Photo Information

Michael Campofiori, a recruit with Platoon 2020, Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, Recruit Training Regiment, participates in the Day Movement Course as part of Basic Warrior Training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, Feb. 6, 2019. Campofiori, a native of Brick Township, New Jersey, overcame Leukemia and is now pursuing a career in the Marine Corps. BWT is a week-long training event that helps teach recruits the basics of combat survival and advanced rifle maneuvers. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Jack A. E. Rigsby)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jack rigsby

Cancer survivor to graduate USMC Basic in four weeks

19 Feb 2019 | Lance Cpl. Jack A. E. Rigsby 6th Marine Corps District

MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. – A cancer survivor from Brick Township, New Jersey is currently four weeks from surviving Marine Corps Recruit Training here, the most rigorous basic training in the U.S. military. 

Michael Campofiori has excelled through his first nine weeks of training, earning a squad leader role in Platoon 2020, Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion.

“Immediately, Campofiori began to note what he needed to work on and seek self-improvement,” said Staff Sgt. Roy A Covington III, senior drill instructor of Platoon 2020. “He began to embody the leadership principals that I teach, so I made him a squad leader.”

Campofiori was diagnosed with Leukemia at age 11 and went through chemotherapy during his five-year battle with the cancer. 

When his cancer went into remission at age 16, he decided to pursue a career in the Marine Corps, but his struggles continued. 

Campofiori was repeatedly turned away by recruiters who doubted the U.S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery would approve the waiver that would be required as a result of his medical history. He began to explore enlistment options with other branches and started traveling the East Coast in search of a recruiter who would give him a chance. 

After moving to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina from Brick Township, New Jersey, Campofiori found the Marine recruiters of Recruiting Substation Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. For four years, he attended RSS Myrtle Beach pool meetings, which prepare members of the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program for the rigors of recruit training.

“I’ve attended every physical training event that they’ve had,” said Campofiori. “The recruiters helped me mentally and emotionally, which helped me to prepare for recruit training.”

Campofiori is now setting his sights on the Crucible, a 54-hour culminating event that tests all recruits’ basic Marine Corps knowledge and skills.

Campofiori will take on the Crucible next week. Afterwards, he will undergo a battery of tests, gauging his general Marine Corps knowledge, and begin a transition period that prepares recruits to move on from Parris Island to their future duty stations.

Campofiori is on track to graduate March 8, 2019. Afterwards, he will enjoy ten days of well-deserved leave before continuing to the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger, North Carolina.

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