“Honor, courage and commitment” are principles that 1st Lt. Drexel King of the U.S. Marine Corps embodies. King, a native of Raleigh, N.C. and a graduate of the Naval Academy and Ravenscoft High School, the ambitious soldier knew at an early age that education and discipline were his saving grace. These qualities were instilled in him by his parents, particularly his dad who is an Army man. The elder King’s discipline, family values, work ethic and purposeful living provided the basics for his son’s upbringing.

King is a community advocate who is a strong believer in giving back. He can often be found at the head of a classroom  filled with eager and inquisitive students, at his high school alma mater, where he offers advice and answers inquisitive students.

The new face of the U.S. Marine Corps Fighting with Purpose campaign, he’s profiled on the insitution’s website at  www.Marines.com/Impact alongside his wife Johnna and mother Robbin King. In the campaign’s commercial, he’s featured walking through his hometown of Raleigh at one point, and next we see him in full battle gear on a humanitarian mission.

Here, King discusses the U.S. Marines’ impact and how their values to serve and help others in need align. –yvette caslin

How do you define courage?
Courage is one of our  core values. It is not the absence of fear, but the ability to overcome it. It takes you looking at your task, evaluating it and going forth. It’s not easy, but you have your brothers to your left, and to your right you have [those] you have been training with the whole time and they will help and encourage you.

What about honor and respect?
You have to honor and respect your parents. It starts there. Good or bad, that’s where it begins for you. How you react to that will tell you a lot about your life, your ability to honor and respect authority. In the Corps, you have to honor the authority that’s in place, and it’s necessary for the tough job that we have to do.

What does your uniform symbolize?
The Marine Corps prides itself on having the best uniform out there. When the people, in the civilian community or overseas see the uniform, there’s an expectation of performance. You are expected to be a person of integrity, an honorable person, faithful, courageous and you are expected to be loyal and committed to the constitutional values of this country. I think they see that, and this uniform embodies that. It feels good to wear it and it also feels good to see people who appreciate the sacrifices Marines are making everyday. Specifically, you have the badges [that include] shooting qualifications; every marine is a rifleman. You have individual awards and unit awards. Most people these days have Afghan or Iraqi Campaign Awards, the combat action ribbon, NATO [and,or] national defense. If you are in the 5th or 6th Marines, you are allowed to wear the French fleur de lis [in honor of] the marines who fought bravely in Belleau Wood and earned that privilege.

To learn more about the Marine Corps and its recruiting efforts, visit www.Marines.com/Impact.

Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.