Lance Cpl. Elena Alvillar Camarillo is the Marine of the Quarter for the third quarter at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, Calif.
Alvillar Camarillo is a native of Phoenix, Ariz.
“I think I was chosen because of my volunteer work,” Alvillar Camarillo said. “Any time the sergeant major asks for volunteers, I’m the first one to put my hand up.”
“I volunteer for a lot of things,” the administrative clerk for S-1 continued. “We recently got a new Marine in S-1 so I volunteered to go on runs with him and to keep him motivated so that he can be put up for Marine of the Quarter as well.”
“I’ve worked with the Single Marine Program aboard base. I worked with a group to help feed the homeless, too, but now because of COVID we had to stop that program,” Alvillar Camarillo said.
The lance corporal said she had been in the Marine ROTC in high school and intended to join the service in 2016, but her mother’s health issues compelled her to stay home and help out.
After contributing to the care of her mother, Alvillar Camarillo said she reevaluated her future and decided she was ready for her next adventure, so she joined the Marine Corps on January 14, 2019.
“The Marine Corps seems to be more of a family than the other services,” she said.
As a native of Phoenix, when she first arrived at the base, she was not impressed with the scenery. “It’s nothing but desert where I come from, so my initial reaction to MCLB Barstow was ‘This is not my cup of tea.’”
Now that she has been aboard base since September 2019, she understands the reason Marine Corps Community Services motto is “We’re not in the middle of nowhere, we’re in the middle of everywhere.”
“Vegas is two hours away, Los Angeles about the same,” Alvillar Camarillo said. “I’ve actually been to those places since I’ve been here. I’ve been to Big Bear, too, but not during the winter. That’s my next goal is to get there when the skiing areas are open. I’ve traveled quite a bit since I arrived at MCLB Barstow. It’s been fun.”
The travel restrictions have also left her feeling nostalgic for Phoenix and her family.
“It’s been hard being away from my loved ones, but I know that it’s for our own good, so I wouldn’t have it any other way if it keeps them safe,” she said.
The base’s small size has also turned out to be a real plus for Alvillar Camarillo.
“I like the fact that it’s a small base and you can grow a family here. A big base like (MCAGCC) 29 Palms doesn’t have the communication with other Marines like what we have here,” she said.
Her career plans include studying medicine.
“I would ultimately want to be a doctor who specializes in sonography to do ultrasounds for pregnant women,” Alvillar Camarillo said. “I was inspired by my sister when I went to see her ultrasound and I thought ‘That’s cool. I want to do that type of medical work.’”
Maj. Terry Herzog, S-1 Director, said the lance corporal is well-deserving of the recognition.
“Lance Cpl. Alvillar Camarillo has a strong, professional work ethic which sets the example within the S-1 shop for others to follow. Furthermore, Alvillar is constantly looking to improve herself through her volunteer work which also inspires the Marines around her to do better.”
During her remaining time at MCLB Barstow Alvillar Camarillo plans to continue volunteering and work toward developing as a Marine.
“The way I see it is if you want something then you are going to push yourself toward that goal,” she said. “I’ve managed to push myself in ways that I never imagined I could before I joined the Corps. I want to keep motivating myself so that I can be someone whom others look up to, not just other Marines, but my nieces and nephew, as well. I use them as an inspiration to keep me going after what I want in life.”