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Overcoming Obstacles: How the Naval Studies Certificate Prepares Leaders for the Future

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — On a warm winter morning on wooded Camp Lejeune, a young corporal steps out of her car. She’s parked in front of the Single Marine Program, French Creek Recreation Center and Learning Distance Education Center preparing for her graduation speech.

Cpl. Erica Pickle, of Birmingham, Alabama, poses for a graphic about earning her education and becoming summa cum laude from the Naval Studies Certificate at United States Naval Community College. During her graduation speech, Pickle compared her education to the obstacle course Marines use to develop their confidence and capabilities to overcome any challenge. “There are walls to scale, ropes to climb, barbed wire to low-crawl under,” she said, “but every graduate here, they put in the work, and they earned that Naval Studies Certificate.” To learn more about the Naval Studies Certificate program, or to find out more about the command nomination program, go to The United States Naval Community College is the official community college for the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. To get more information about the USNCC, go to Click on the Apply Now link to become a part of the USNCC Pilot II program.

Site developed by Wicked Code, Inc. and funded by The Edward E. & Marie L. Matthews Foundation •  Photos by Rick Stipa Photography
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