A Look at America’s Newest Generation of Fighting Men and Women
Sgt. Jose Vigil is America's Marine for May 17.

Name: Sgt. Jose Vigil

Unit: Marine Corps Detachment

MOS: 0121—personnel clerk

Age: 23

Time in service: 33 months

Most recent accomplishment: “Meritorious promotion to sergeant (editor’s note: a meritorious promotion is an accelerated promotion that few Marines attain).”

Hometown: La-Junta, Colo.

Family: wife, Colleen; sons, Bryan, 3 and Nicholas, 4 months

Pastimes: Hanging out with the family, going to the park and grappling (wrestling).”

Claim to fame: “Motivation. It can be the worst day and I always try to find a way to make it positive.”

Most embarrassing moment: “When I got promoted to lance corporal. The C.O. came to pin on my chevrons, and I didn’t have them. I was supposed to have them. She said, ‘Where’s your chevrons?’ and I said, ‘I don’t have them.’ and she said, ‘Well, I guess you don’t want to get promoted.’ I said, ‘OK.’”

What you would do for your fellow Marines: “I’d try to get them promoted like myself.”

What you’d be doing if you weren’t in the Marines: “I’d probably be in college doing nothing and sitting in my room.”

The person you look up to the most: “My younger brother. He convinced me to join the military, and we’re always competing. He’s a source of motivation. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for him.”

What makes a good leader: “Know yourself and seek self-improvement. Before you can lead, you have to learn how to follow.”

What makes a good Marine: “The ability to follow orders, complete the mission and look out for your fellow Marines.”

Best thing about the Marine Corps: “Getting up in the morning and putting on my cammies, and being looked up to at a high level with an image to uphold.”

Values: “My family, the Marines that I work for and that work under me.”

Motivations: “My dad. I remember when I was a kid growing up. After a hard day’s work, he would still come home and have time for us, no matter how tired he was. That’s the way I am with my kids, and I learned that from my dad.”

Goals: “Have a successful career and provide for my family so that they don’t have to worry. My professional goal is to become a commissioned officer.”