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Spc. Marvese Lanier

Unit: Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 71st Transportation Battalion

MOS: 42A – Human resource specialist

Age: 26

Hometown: Spring Lake, N.C.

Family: married with one daughter

Time in service: four years

Describe your personality: “I’m laid back, more conservative and somewhat comedic, especially around my (six) brothers. I’m the one who keeps the party alive.”

What you do in your free time: “Basketball, weightlifting and football. I played football in college, so it helps me to stay in shape.”

Talent: “Singing – it’s my go-to. It’s something that runs in the family. My father, my mother … we all sang. She (my mother) used to sing to me before football games so it’s something I picked up from her.”

Your dream car: “I’m not too big on vehicles, just something to get me to and from work.”

One celebrity or historical figure you admire: “My uncle, Bob Lanier. He played in the NBA, and the work he has done for NBA charities and giving back to the community is something I’d like to emulate.”

If you won the lottery … “I would take care of my father. He’s done so much for me since my mother passed (when Lanier was 8 years old).”

What it’s like growing up as the youngest of seven boys: “It was difficult. I can say that, but it made me more of a man. There were times on the basketball court when I would just whine, but they would put their foot down and say, ‘You’ve got to man up and play ball.’”

Worst fear: “Failure – I’ve been in situations in which I needed to pass a test or catch a touchdown pass, knowing that if I didn’t, I would let my team, my family or my co-workers down. Failure has always been a burden on me.”

One life-changing moment: “When I broke my wrist in college (while on an athletic and academic scholarship). Things just went downhill from there. It affected me physically and psychologically. I went from throwing the ball about 75 yards to 60 (and had to play wide receiver as a result). I was saying to myself ‘maybe I’m not fast enough to play wide receiver,’ but my coaches said I didn’t have to be fast, just go out there and catch the ball.”

Biggest regrets: “I don’t have too many regrets, but there are a few things in which I wish I could turn back the clock on like the college I chose to attend. I first attended Louisburg College, transferred to the University of North Carolina then left that school and enrolled at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, N.C. I probably should not have gone to Fayetteville State because I grew up in the area. There was always trouble. I was always around it. When I finally matured, it was too late. I went from a 3.6 (grade point average) to a 2.8.”

Greatest hope: “To make my (departed) mother proud in the career path I chose.”

Your ideal life: “To be successful; to make myself and my family happy.”

The person you most admire: “Besides my uncle, my father. When my mother passed, he did everything to the best of his abilities to keep me happy.”

Why you joined the Army: “It was a family tradition. Everyone in my family was in the military except one of my brothers. There also were the opportunities. I saw how my family members enjoyed what they were doing. It was my plan to join after college.”

Did the Army fulfill any of your initial expectations? “Yes – the biggest fulfillment was confidence. I was shy, and it taught me to be more assertive and more vocal. That was one of the expectations I had.”

Why you chose your MOS: “It was the type of work I’d performed my entire college career, and I’ve always been organized and able to communicate with people.”

You were assigned to the Multinational Force and Observers in Sinai, Egypt. What do you remember most about your tour of duty there? “The people I met, and the friendships I made.”

What sets you apart from your peers? “Being a person people can come to for advice. I think I’m the one who is not going to take sides or make judgments.”

What it means to be a Soldier: “Being able to protect the country and my family; it’s a job only 1 percent of the population is able to do.”

If there was one thing you could change about the Army, what you would change? “The pay.”

Best thing about the Army: “The camaraderie and the aspects of leadership.”

Worst thing about the Army: “Being away from your family.”

Future goals: “To retire at the rank of command sergeant major.”