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Ryan Small

I was born in Myrtle Beach, SC on June 8th, 1975. I have five brothers, two of which, also served honorably in the Marine Corps. I stepped on the yellow foot prints of Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC on December 28th, 1994. After completing boot camp in March of 1995, I spent two weeks at Marine Combat Training (MCT) school, Camp Geiger, NC before beginning school for my military occupational specialty as an Engineer at Court House Bay in Camp Lejeune. Upon graduation I was assigned to 1st Combat Engineer Battalion in Camp Pendleton where I spent my first 3 years in the fleet Marine Corps. During which time I was promoted twice before being transferred to Okinawa, Japan for one year. In 1999, I was assigned to the Marine Wing Support Squadron in Miramar California where I spent two years before requesting assignment to 2d Maintenance Battalion in Camp Lejeune.

I have served 3 combat tours in Kuwait, Iraq, and Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

As the Company Gunnery Sergeant for Head Quarters Service Company, 2d Maintenance Battalion. I planned, coordinated and supervised the activities of over 300 Marines while closing down Al Taqqadum air base Iraq in 2009.

While serving as the Platoon Commander for the 2d Supply Battalion Forward, Dwyer Detachment inAfghanistan, in 2012, I was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal for successfully organizing 54 maintenance support teams and dispatching them to Forward Operating bases, Payne,Marjah, Geronimo, and Taghaz to provide maintenance support for 10 other units positioned in hostile combat environments.

I served as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island, SC from 2005-2008. During which time I trained and transformed over 450 men into United States Marines.

As a senior enlisted Marine, I volunteered to take charge of the Marine Corps Body Composition program so that I could provide a proper exercise regimen for Marines who became overweight and did not meet the height and weight standards. I helped over 100 Marines on the program successfully get their weight within standards, in doing so saving them from what would inevitably end their careers in an other than honorable discharge.

I officially retired from the Marine Corps on July 1st, 2015 and moved back to my hometown Myrtle Beach. I now own a successful fitness boot camp and an obstacle course training facility. I have brought members of the community together to participate in fun bootcamp tournaments in effort to raise donations for wounded veterans and to remind people that many of our heroes still suffer and hurt from the traumatic effects of battle related injuries.

As a Marine of 20 years, being part of an organization where physical fitness is just as important as your technical skills to be successful and competitive for promotion, fitness has not only become a part of my life but it is a way of life for me. Physical training was my favorite part of the day when I was in the Corps and it still is. I found great happiness in helping my fellow Marines regain their motivation, sense of achievement, and drive to live a healthy life style. Now as a personal trainer, their is no bigger reward than the thanks I get from the people I've helped reach their fitness goals.

I love motivating people and getting them excited about fitness. Hosting boot camp tournaments is a great way to get people excited about fitness. The competitions are an opportunity for people who train everyday to put their hard work to the test and have fun with it. Physical competition gives people a reason to push themselves harder as they train and prepare themselves for the grueling activities they will endure.

Throughout my tenure in the Marine Corps I've planned and coordinated many fitness events in which company's competed against each other for bragging rights and trophies. The excitement and fun of these events were a great way to boost morale and build comradery within the units.

I've had friends and fellow Marines severely wounded and killed in action. I've seen how the trauma they've endured has adversely effected their lives and the lives of their family and friends. As a retired Marine I want to continue to serve my fellow service members. Our country owes them a great deal for their sacrifice. Through these events I want to honor them and help raise donations so that they may get the best care money can buy and provide for them the quality of life they deserve. 


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