As the grandmother of fictional Marine Gomer Pyle used to say: “A workman should be worthy of his hire.” Real-life Marine Cpl. Rachel Rael of Santa Fe has proven her worth to the “Leathernecks,” earning Marine of the Year for her work in the Military Occupational Specialty of administration.
The award recognizes enlisted administrative personnel who demonstrate leadership in the course of service, provide outstanding support and comfort to those with whom they serve, and enhance morale and the personal welfare of others.
“Administration is very important to the Marine Corps, and I can set a good example if I keep doing what I am doing,” the 20-year-old Rael told the Journal during a recent telephone interview from Okinawa, Japan, where she’s stationed.
Rael, a third-generation Marine, wanted to join the Corps since the fourth grade. The 2018 Santa Fe High School graduate’s goal is becoming a drill instructor. “They’re the image of the Marine Corps, and they make the Marine, and I think that’s really great,” she said.
She’s off to a great start. She already served aboard a ship that cruised the South China Sea and been promoted to corporal, becoming a non-commissioned officer, before earning the title of Marine of the Year. She says she greatly misses her family, New Mexico, and our famous New Mexican food. She plans to take some leave and come home when COVID-19 restrictions are eased. We hope there will be quite the wingding in Santa Fe when she does.
Congrat Cpl. Rachel Rael! Your state is proud of you, and we thank you, and every military member, for your service.
This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.