Lexington, S.C. – --
To become a Marine there are many challenges a person must face, the individual must be qualified physically, medically and mentally. The Marine Corps has a weight standard that a person must meet before being allowed to even attempt at earning the title.
Private Daniel Pritchett walked into Marine Corps Recruiting Substation Lexington, S.C. weighing 280 pounds. He had to lose 60 pounds to qualify for the Delayed Entry Program and he had to do it on his own.
“Besides the weight he was qualified,” said Staff Sgt. Bryan T. Davis, Marine Corps Recruiting Substation Lexington, staff noncommissioned officer. “In cases like that we let them know that they are basically qualified they just have to lose the weight.”
Pritchett began working out on his own and attending the physical training sessions at the RSS. He met his first weight loss goal and joined the DEP in Nov. 2013.
“I went on a diet,” said Pritchett. “I cut everything out but water. I started running and working out on my own and with the recruiters.”
The weight loss battle wasn’t over yet; Pritchett had to lose another 24 lbs. to be able to ship to basic training in March.
There’s always the risk of someone not meeting their goal and losing the weight, said Davis. If he didn’t lose it he wouldn’t be able to go to basic training.
“The only reason I put him in the program was because he had heart,” said Davis. “He was constantly improving.”
Being a Marine was something Pritchett wanted to become since he was in high school. More than anything he wanted to hold the title and be able to call himself a Marine.
“I never at one point wanted to quit,” said Pritchett. “It was a big deal to me and a big deal to my family for me to earn the title.”
His family helped to push him even more in reaching his goals.
“My dad would always ask me if I had gone on a run and even when I said yes he would tell me to go out and run again,” said Pritchett.
Although his family was supportive his mom was concerned when he first told her he was joining.
“I was nervous,” said Doreen Kostiuk, Pritchett’s mom. “I was worried about him going to war and getting killed.”
Kostiuk said all those feelings changed once she got involved with the process.
“The process is completely different then what I thought it was,” said Kostiuk. “The Marines were just amazing. They helped him with is self-esteem issues. His confidence is through the roof now.”
Pritchett graduated from basic training on June 20, 2014 weighing 170 lbs. He lost 110 lbs. to transform into a Marine.
“Everybody can help you, tell you how to lose weight and what you should do,” said Pritchett. “They can tell you when to run, this and that, but you have to want it. You have to be able to actually do it and get to your goal; and that’s just what I did.”