Banner Icon could not be loaded.

 

Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton

From gang to glory: Father, soccer star, Marine

By Cpl. Michelle Brinn | Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton | October 02, 2012

Photos
prev
1 of 4
next
Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Jaramillo, captain of the All Marine Soccer Team and Los Angeles native, runs toward the ball during a preliminary match with the Air Force during the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship here, Sept. 26. Although the Marines placed third in the competition, Jaramillo, 31, expressed that it's not about winning medals, it's about representing the Marine Corps.

Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Jaramillo, captain of the All Marine Soccer Team and Los Angeles native, runs toward the ball during a preliminary match with the Air Force during the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship here, Sept. 26. Although the Marines placed third in the competition, Jaramillo, 31, expressed that it's not about winning medals, it's about representing the Marine Corps. (Photo by Cpl. Michelle Brinn)


Photo Details | Download |

Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Jaramillo, captain of the All Marine Soccer Team, relaxes after preliminary match with the Air Force during the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship here, Sept. 26. Jaramillo, 31, and a Los Angeles native was selected to be a captain of the team by the coaches for his six years of experience participating on the All Marine Soccer Team.

Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Jaramillo, captain of the All Marine Soccer Team, relaxes after preliminary match with the Air Force during the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship here, Sept. 26. Jaramillo, 31, and a Los Angeles native was selected to be a captain of the team by the coaches for his six years of experience participating on the All Marine Soccer Team. (Photo by Cpl. Michelle Brinn)


Photo Details | Download |

Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Jaramillo, captain of the All Marine Soccer Team, speaks to team members after a match against Air Force during the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship here, Sept. 26. Jaramillo, 31, and a Los Angeles native, has played soccer all of his life. This was his sixth year participating on the All Marine Soccer Team.

Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Jaramillo, captain of the All Marine Soccer Team, speaks to team members after a match against Air Force during the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship here, Sept. 26. Jaramillo, 31, and a Los Angeles native, has played soccer all of his life. This was his sixth year participating on the All Marine Soccer Team. (Photo by Cpl. Michelle Brinn)


Photo Details | Download |

Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Jaramillo, captain of the All Marine Soccer Team and Los Angeles native, runs toward the ball during a preliminary match with the Air Force during the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship here, Sept. 26. Jaramillo, 31, is currently an Officer Candidate School Drill Instructor and has been in the Marine Corps for 13 years.

Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel Jaramillo, captain of the All Marine Soccer Team and Los Angeles native, runs toward the ball during a preliminary match with the Air Force during the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship here, Sept. 26. Jaramillo, 31, is currently an Officer Candidate School Drill Instructor and has been in the Marine Corps for 13 years. (Photo by Cpl. Michelle Brinn)


Photo Details | Download |

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, CA --

A former East LA gang member is living proof that hardships don’t define who you are.

Gunnery Sgt. Gabriel “Angel” Jaramillo, an Officer Candidate School drill instructor in Quantico, Va. rose above the infamous LA stereotype through his passion for soccer and motivation to succeed.

 “I became a dad at 17,” he said, noting that he gave up soccer scholarships to join the Marine Corps. “I didn’t want to be a dead-beat-dad. I didn’t want to continue that trend. I just wanted stability for my daughter.”

To “Angel,” soccer was and is his outlet; his therapeutic way to escape the streets, and now to escape the daily stressors of the Corps.

“Three years as a drill instructor, two deployments and now three years at OCS, there’s been plenty of times where you turn to soccer to get away from home and just get away from the Marine Corps a little bit,” he said. “Your mind is focused on the sport and the sport only.”

But the Marine Corps is what changed his direction and motivation to succeed.

“Once I got that eagle, globe and anchor," he said, referring to the Marine Corps emblem,"It just changed my mind-set. Ever since I joined, I’ve been more passionate about the Marine Corps than the actual sport because the Marine Corps is a way of life. It got me out of trouble, and it got me out of my past.”

Now a father of three, and captain of the All Marine Soccer Team, Jaramillo applies his 13 years of Marine Corps experience and parenting skills to the field.

“My drive at this point, being the senior enlisted member of the soccer team, is that you can always mentor and continue to lead Marines,” he said.

For the first time since its beginning in 1981, the 2012 Armed Forces Soccer Championship was held on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton Sept. 23-30, and of more than 150 submissions, Jaramillo was considered to try out for the team for the sixth time.

“I’ve been blessed being able to compete at the highest level with the Armed Forces,” said Jaramillo. Regardless of being on the team six times, he’s never overconfident about making it. “If I’m not nervous, then I’m not going to perform to the level that I want to. Everyone thinks I’m confident, but I’m not. I’m competing with 22-23 year old corporals, and here I am as a 31-year-old gunnery sergeant.”

Although this year the Marine Corps took third place in the competition, Jaramillo said it’s not about winning the medals.

“My main focus is to represent the Marine Corps,” he said. “I’m here for the Marines and to wear this jersey.”



1 Comments


  • Clinton Dyer 2 years 2 days ago
    I have been around the program since 1994 as a player and coach over the years. Players like GySgt Jaramillo is the caliber of player the Marine Corps needs. He is the epidermy of a Marine Athlete and warrants recognition for his efforts over the years. Marine Corps sports means a lot to quite a large populous in the service and having the opportunity to play at the Armed Forces level as a member of the All Marine team and coaching at the CISM qualifier is tremendous. As a player, training is both physically and mentally tough, and wearing that Eagle Globe and Anchor on your chest knowing you have made the final roster is unbelieveably breath taking. I challenge every Marine who think they have what it takes to be a part of something this wonderful, to submit an application and come give it a shot and I ask commands to support your Devil Dogs and the Marine Corps Sports Program.
    Semper Fi!

Add Comment

(required)
  Post Comment