San Diego — Hard work and determination can get people to places they never thought they could go. One Marine set his mind to one thing and accomplished it.
Pvt. Jose Caban Jr., Platoon 3203, India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, didn’t give up on his goal and lost 70 pounds to enlist in the Marine Corps.
Caban realized what he wanted to do and did whatever he could to accomplish his mission.
“I was overweight since I was a child,” said 20-year-old Caban. “As I got older, I got used to it, and it didn’t really bother me.”
He attended the Bullard Havens High School in his home town of Bridgeport, Connecticut, where he played on the baseball team as a first basemen and catcher.
Caban graduated high school in 2011 and worked full-time at a T-Mobile retailer.
“I lived awfully,” said Caban. “My diet was awful. I didn’t really care what I ate. I just didn’t take care of myself.”
After high school, Caban was unsure of what his plans were going to be and at the time he had no interest or intention of joining the military, he explained.
About eight months after he graduated high school, Caban was informed of the different opportunities in the military.
“I originally was veered more toward the Air Force,” said Caban. “I learned that the military had height and weight standards and what I would need to do to get down to them.”
Caban explained how he attended a future Airmen function and immediately realized that the Air Force wasn’t enough of a challenge for him and wanted more.
Sometime after he had decided not to join the Air Force he found himself sitting across the desk from a Marine Corps recruiter, and he was hooked.
“I was 240 pounds when I first went to my recruiter,” said Caban. “I knew I had some serious work to do before I would be able to even enlist.”
Caban soon realized he wanted his dream more and more.
He started going to the recruiting station’s physical training events and poolee functions to start conditioning his body. His recruiters soon realized his determination and worked one-on-one with him to get him where he needed to be.
“When we first started running, it took us about 30 minutes to run a mile and a half,” said Sgt. Yuri Rodriguez, recruiter, Recruiting Substation Visalia, California. “We knew how bad he wanted it, and we were willing to help him if he kept his motivation.”
She explained Caban came to the recruiting office every morning to go running; they researched healthy diets and worked a lot on cardiovascular exercises.
“His determination and motivation were unbelievable,” said Rodriguez, a native of Lindsey, California. “He is the true example of how nothing is impossible.”
When Caban dropped his weight down to 170 pounds, he was able to ship to recruit training and take the next step in his goal.
“Recruit training was rough,” said Caban. “There were many times I wanted to give up and go home, but I didn’t, and that is all because of my drill instructors. I hated them through it all, but now I am thanking them.”
Caban has successfully earned his Eagle, Globe and Anchor and is ready to move on in his Marine Corps career. After graduation he will continue his training at Marine Combat Training in Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, California, and then to his military occupational specialty school as a tropospheric scatter radio multi-channel equipment operator. He hopes to get education and discipline out of the Marine Corps.
“It is still surreal to be called a Marine after everything I pushed through, and I have finally done it,” said Caban. “I want to accomplish as much as I can from here on out. My opportunities are endless.”