First Lt. Michael Cooley, a platoon commander serving with Mobility Assault Company, 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, walks with his son, Isaac, during a hike at Caspers Wilderness Park, Trabuco Canyon, Calif., May 18, 2013. While 1st CEB is training deploy to Afghanistan during the fall, Cooley, a native of Algonquin, Ill., devotes much of his free time to Scouting. Growing up Cooley's father was his den leader, now Cooley is a den leader for his son.
(U.S. Marne Corps photo by Cpl. Joseph Scanlan)
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. – From core values to
outdoor skills, Boy Scouts and Marines have much in common.
platoon commander serving with 1st Combat Engineer Battalion uses
the Boy Scout values and skills he was raised by to lead Marines
Growing up as a Scout, 1st Lt. Michael Cooley was
taught the values of good conduct, respect and honesty. As the years
went on, he learned lifelong lessons in outdoor skills, first aid,
proper manners and citizenship skills.
Scouting when he was in kindergarten. Unlike many of his peers, he
chose to continue Scouting and became an Eagle Scout when he was in
high school. Even when he was in college, he volunteered at a local
troop as an assistant scoutmaster.
“The things I like most
about the scouts is being outdoors,” said Cooley, a native of
Algonquin, Ill. “I enjoy hiking, camping, fishing and shooting
weapons. Also, we take the core values we learn growing up as a
Scout and take them with us into the community and into the Marine
Before he joined the Corps, Cooley felt a void after
being involved with Scouts for so long. After he enlisted, he felt
he had filled that void by becoming part of a brotherhood and
something greater than himself.
“I come from a long line of
family in the military from World War I, World War II, Korea and
Vietnam,” Cooley said. “The transition of going from high school to
the Marine Corps was kind of easy for me because I grew up with a
After serving as an enlisted Marine since
2000, Cooley felt the need to lead at a different capacity and
commissioned as a second lieutenant during 2010.