Not long ago I asked my friend and brother in Christ, Captain Andrew Reeves of the United States Marine Corps to answer a few questions about what it’s like to be a follower of Jesus and a Marine. I have had the pleasure of serving with Captain Reeves both stateside and in Afghanistan. He is a wonderful Marine and a true brother in Christ. Here’s the Q&A.
How long have you been a Marine now?
-I walked across the yellow footprints of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego on 20 June 2000. I was commissioned as an Officer of Marines on 27 May 2005.
How long have you been a believer?
-I accepted Christ as my personal Lord and Savior in 1987.
In your opinion, is following Christ in the Marine Corps different than following him in the civilian world?
-I think that military life in the Marine is certainly different from the civilian world. The personalities one deals with in the Marine Corps are often stronger and more opinionated. Additionally, the need to fit it with one’s peers in order to feel a member of the Marine Corps team also has a significant pull. Therefore, the temptations come upon Christians quickly and strongly. Without a solid foundation, I would estimate that it is much harder to remain walking the path towards Christ in the Marine Corps.
What are some of the challenges that you face as a Marine AND a believer?
-The Marine Corps prides itself on its institutional identity. For the young and impressionable Marines, that often means that a group-think mentality is necessary to be a part of the organization. It relates back to Recruit Training where everyone is shown ONE way to eat, think, dress, and act. The mentality bred into junior Marines therefore provides an easy way for Satan to plant lies into Marine Believer’s minds. A Marine must remain resolute in their convictions and be prepared to stand up for them and defend them. Otherwise, the pressures of the group towards a worldly standard of behavior, to include alcoholism and sexual immorality, will easily overwhelm the weak and unprepared.
Are you able to find good biblical accountability while pursuing a military career? If so, how is it difficult? How is it rewarding?
-Accountability is not difficult for those looking for it. Being plugged into a church family, either on base or off, is vital to maintain links to strong and mature believers that can mentor younger Christians and assist with walking a Christ-like walk. It is immensely rewarding through the companionship and sense of family that you can develop with fellow believers. My Church family in my first duty station at 29 Palms was instrumental to my development as both a Christian and a leader.
To wrap up, what is one piece of advice that you would give to a young believer that wants to strive for a career in one of our fine military branches?
-Following Christ’s leadership example, while difficult, will never fail you. Be strong, be courageous and remember that God is with you no matter where you will go. He will never leave you nor forsake you.