January 30, 2014 --
Everything Cpl. Candice Clark, supply administration, Marine Corps Systems Command, located at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, does, she does to her very best ability.
“I don’t want to meet the standard. I want to exceed the standard and be better,” she said.
Being her best earned her first place in the women’s weight lifting competition held at Thompson Gym on Jan. 15. Clark beat out other female competitors to take the first place title, which earned her a coin and bragging rights for a year.
Clark has also achieved perfect 300 scores in her physical and combat fitness tests as well as expert in marksmanship.
Although her scores indicate perfection, Clark’s self-imposed standards says she needs to work harder.
“What I really want to do,” Clark said, as she widened her eyes and sat up straight to show her excitement, “is 20 pull ups.
“The maximum for females is eight. I can actually do 15, but I want to do 20," she said. "Then no one can say females can’t do them. I want to do better on my physical fitness test and combat fitness test as well. The maximum score is 300, but I can still do better on the tests.”
Pursuing those goals sends Clark to the gym at 5:30 a.m. every day.
“My alarm clock doesn’t wake me up, my goals do,” she said. Clark said that is a quote she has on her phone, which she reads from time to time.
“There are some days, I don’t feel like it, or I’m tired, but I remember another quote that says ‘I am stronger than my excuses,’” she said. “I push negative thoughts out of my mind with quotes like those.”
Being stronger than excuses dictated Clark’s return to college after joining the Marines.
“I really wanted to be a Marine,” Clark said. “I liked the way they looked, the way they carried themselves and what they stood for.”
While attending Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, Ga., on a basketball scholarship, she struggled with the choice of finishing school or joining the Marines. At the end of the basketball season, Clark visited a recruiter and decided to put college on hold in order to join the Marine Corps.
Master Gunnery Sgt. James Rigby, senior enlisted advisor, SysCom, said of Clark, “She is an outstanding Marine who has accepted every challenge the Corps has given her. She has exceeded all our expectations with a positive attitude. There are not many Marines cut from that fabric from her generation.”
Rigby explained Clark should have no trouble reaching the next level in her Marine Corps career. She has indicated she wants to work toward being promoted to sergeant.
From there, her sights are set on making an application to become an officer. Based on her attitude, work ethic and credentials, Rigby sees her having no issue in achieving all of that, he said.
Although Clark chose to leave school to join the Corps, her tenacity would not allow her to leave that task unfinished. She is scheduled to graduate in May with a degree in psychology.
Clark said she has learned that people may be watching her and her choices in life.
“I may not know who is watching, or when they are watching but if someone is looking at me, I want them to see something good and positive,” she said. “I want to be a motivation and not a distraction to someone attempting to do good things in life.”
To motivate young children, Clark volunteers as a mentor with Mentors in Action and Girls, Inc.
“I love being around children,” she said. “They are so excited and full of energy, it rubs off on me and keeps me motivated. I hope I can return the favor by being a positive image to them and (have) that rub off on them.”
“I just want to help people,” Clark added. “At the end of the day, if you are not helping someone else, then what’s the point?
“Every single person in some shape, form or fashion has an impact on someone else in this world. I always think, what is my impact on others? I strive every day to make sure it is a positive one.”