Golden Grizzly Goes Camo

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By: Jason Peraino

Editor: Katie Williams and Oliver Hackett

He is a United States Army Infantry soldier and could probably outrun you without even breaking a sweat. 

Tyler Martin, a 22-year-old junior, started off his college education at the University of Louisville. “Originally I wanted to go to U of L because I was offered a spot to play for the hockey team down there,” he says. 

The Macomb, Michigan native found his way back home at the beginning of his sophomore year. “I chose Oakland because it allowed me to move back close to home while continuing to play collegiate hockey and also to receive a top-notch education,” Martin says.

Martin made Oakland his home, taking multiple classes and continued to play hockey at the collegiate level.

Although Oakland gained another new student, Martin’s time here would only be temporary. “My plan from the time I graduated high school was to attend two years of college, join the Army, graduate college while in the Army and receive commission as an officer,” he says. “This is the best route for me because it allows me to get two extra years of military training while finishing up college that I wouldn’t have been able to get if I waited to join the Army until after college,” Martin adds. 

The military gives individuals the opportunity to make a difference with the different branches offered. “Growing up with two parents in the Army, it’s all I’ve really ever known, and my parents have made it abundantly clear that I could do whatever I wanted in this world,” says Martin. “I’ve always been drawn to helping protect this country and the people of other countries who can’t protect themselves.” 

Being on the front lines is not for everyone, Martin explains, “infantry can be scary, but if I want to be able to help those in need, the front line is where I have to be.”

The basic training process can be long and mentally draining, Martin expresses, “the training is no joke, the mental game is what gets everyone, we’ve had soldiers try to run away and get tackled down because they couldn’t take it anymore.”

“I left in late September. I’ll graduate from basic and AIT (Advanced Individual Training) sometime in March,” he says. “Basic training usually is for about 10 weeks, AIT differs for everyone but mine should be about 14 weeks,” Martin adds. The six-month training is standard for anyone that goes into one of the military branches.

Martin is one of many soldiers in the third platoon at Fort Benning, Georgia.

Comparable to a 9 to 5 job, Martin has a regular routine for work every day. “A normal day here is: wake up around 4:30 a.m., first call and inspections at 5:30 a.m., morning PT from 6:00 a.m. until 7:00 a.m., with breakfast chow at 7:30 a.m.” he said. “We then conduct training from 8 a.m. until around 19:00 (7:00 p.m.), when we return, we unpack everything that was used and get some personal time, 21:00 (9:00 p.m.) is lights out,” Martin explains. 

Isaiah, 20, brother of Tyler, says, “I couldn’t be more proud of him and what he’s accomplishing, I look up to him as an older brother and hope for nothing but the best.”

The Golden Grizzly plans on returning to school after he graduates from training. “Next for me is graduating in March and coming back to Michigan to finish up my last two years of college, I then can commission as an officer in the Army and finish my career there.” 

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