Young Marine is making a career out of musical ability

Carrie Ciecierski

Music for most teenagers means streaming their favorite tunes on Spotify or downloading them from I-Tunes. That’s not the case for 17-year-old Carrie Ciecierski, a recent high school graduate who is making music for the United States Marine Corps.

Her grandparents are lifetime Lewistown residents Walter and Brenda Ciecierski and routinely drive south to visit their son, William, his wife, Marcey, and daughter, Carrie, in Dothan, Alabama, near the Florida state line.

Ciecierski was a french horn player in the Dothan High School Band and routinely represented her school at All-State and All-National Band Festivals before graduating last spring.

When it came time to choose what she would do after high school, she knew the military had opportunities. “I love to listen to military band recordings and I knew they had a rich tradition when it comes to music,” she said.

At the beginning of her junior year of high school, she auditioned for a Marine Music Technician, who accepted her under the Musician Enlistment Option Program. The program guarantees that musicians who successfully meet audition criteria will be designated “Musician” as their Military Occupational Speciality.

When she learned that the Marine Corps would accept enlistees at age 17 with their parents’ approval, she enrolled in summer school, took extra classes, enlisted on her 17th birthday, and finished high school a year early.

At the beginning of August she left for recruit training and recently graduated from Marine Corps Boot Camp. She had completed 13 weeks of intensive basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island as one of 65 recruits in Training Platoon 4043 and graduated Nov. 3.

At the conclusion of recruit training, Plt 4043 voted Ciecierski as their “Molly Marine.”  The award is sponsored by the Women Marines Association and is given to female Marines who “demonstrate the qualities of an exemplary Marine.”

Ciecierski said she has no regrets when it comes to the decision she’s made. “It hasn’t been easy, but I wouldn’t change anything. I love being a Marine,” she said.

Ciecierski is enrolled in Marine Combat Training at Camp Leguene, North Carolina. Following completion of this training, she will report to the Naval School of Music in Virginia Beach, Va. She will then be assigned to one of 12 Marine Corps Bands.