John Worsencroft was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and spent most of his childhood in Murray, Utah. He had several family members who had been in military service including his dad who was in the Navy and always spoke of the importance of the military. On the other hand his mother was skeptical of military culture. John remembers most friends around him being dedicated to some form of service. He was drawn into the Marine culture and decided he wanted to join the Reserves. However his mom refused to sign his papers when he was seventeen and he was forced to wait until he was eighteen to join. He went to boot camp in 2000 and describes his experience there and in the School of Infantry. He thrived in boot camp and was given a leadership position as a Guide. He does admit that boot camp was difficult but he was able to adjust. He describes The Reserve and Active Duty tensions that formed and also the racial, religious, and gender issues in the military overall.
John joined Fox Company after finishing boot camp and the School of Infantry. Shortly after the attacks on September 11, 2001, his unit was deployed to Camp Pendleton, California as a Quick Reaction Force. John explains the training his unit underwent and the purpose of the deployment. The training was lengthy but in hindsight he feels that this deployment was necessary to bring his unit closer together prior to their next deployment with the 1st Marine Division in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He talks about the conflict between his doubts about the war and his dedication to his position in the military before he left for Kuwait.
He goes into detail describing his experiences traveling in southern Iraq and the early firefights his unit fought in. They also had to deal with the slow military mail and embedded journalists. John describes the combat his unit saw while patrolling in Baghdad and the casualties his unit sustained. He discusses news coverage in Iraq, looting in Baghdad, and the remainder of his unit’s tour. After combat in Baghdad subsided his unit began to provide a security presence.
When John returned home he enrolled in class and picked his up his civilian life again. He stayed in the Marines until 2006 and obtained the rank of Sergeant. He talks about his experience taking the oral histories of other servicemen and the diverse stories they had to share.