“Making the Grade: Excelsior Student Recognized as VIP” by Dana Yanulavich *Featured in the Fall 2015 Edition of Excelsior College.
Gunnery Sgt. Radio Chief Victor Martinez, of the U.S. Marine Corps, may have underestimated his potential as a high school student at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly, New Jersey. With a belief that academics weren’t his strong suit, he instead applied his competitiveness to service in the military. Yet it was the professional and personal accomplishments he has displayed during his 12-year military career that earned him a trip back to the head of the class at his former high school. In June, Martinez, a student in the Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts program, was named an RVRHS VIP Alumni.
“I remember seeing the [VIP] plaques in the hall going through the grades,” recalls Martinez, adding that he never imagined he would one day join the more than 100 VIPs dating back to 1933. He’s kept in touch with some of the RVRHS staff, a teacher and his former guidance counselor, Donna Aromando, who nominated him for the award.
“He just had great qualities as a human being,” says Aromando, noting that he displayed integrity and loyalty and was always respectful. And those qualities have carried through to his service in the military.
Martinez is a well-respected and decorated Marine who is entrusted with one of the most important jobs in the free world. He serves as the operations chief, communications systems operator for Marine Helicopter Squadron One—the squadron that carries the president of the United States.
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