Enlistment and Basic Training

Interviewee: Sam Porter

Sam Porter was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He talks about joining the Marine Corps while he was attending junior college. He joined because he wanted an air contract but because of health reasons switched to a ground contract after graduating Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Virginia. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and went on active duty after graduating college. He ended up as a signal intelligence officer, training in Florida and Hawaii. He describes signal intelligence and his first job as radio reconnaissance, which he greatly enjoyed because of the pace and the group he lead.

Sam went off active duty in December 1999 but after 9/11 decided to return. He joined Fox Company in Salt Lake City. He describes how he prepared to become an infantry officer and his first impressions of the company. The company then traveled to southern California where they trained and waited to be deployed. He talks about his philosophy of leadership during that training period. The company was then deployed to Iraq in 2002 after a year of training. 

He describes waiting at the Iraq-Kuwait border, preparing before invading Iraq. Then he talks about invading Iraq, driving north through the country, the exhaustion and hunger he and his troops felt, and the first tense situation they had going through An Nasiriyah. He discusses his understanding and thoughts of the Marine Corps’ mission to get to Baghdad as fast as possible. He describes a situation in which they were fighting at night and one of their vehicles crashed into their own position, severely injuring Sam and killing his staff sergeant. He talks about his injury and his journey to the field hospital. After about three weeks he returned to the States to recover.