Career recruiter and son use wrestling to promote Corps

29 Nov 2003 | 9th Marine Corps District

A local staff non-commissioned officer-in-charge and his 12-year-old son took to the mats recently as they promoted the Marine Corps during a national wrestling match in Oklahoma.

“We recruit at the wrestling tournaments,” said Gunnery Sgt. Ronald S. Olsen, SNCOIC, Recruiting Sub Station Muskegon, Mich. “We’ve put in two officials and one other that we’re still waiting on.”

One of those two Olsen put into the Marine Corps recently returned from boot camp. Private Alex J. Albrecht, 18, was glad to have been noticed by Olsen during a clinic he was helping in.

“There is a wrestling clinic that’s held every year at the elementary and middle schools and (Kameron) was one of those in the clinic,” said Albrecht. “My role was to demonstrate wrestling moves to the kids and then we went around to make sure that they did the techniques correctly.”

Albrecht, a native of Kentwood, Mich., was involved with these wrestling clinics in high school.

“I met Gunny Olsen in my junior year,” said Albrecht.

Olsen had a couple years to work with Albrecht, and after some convincing Albrecht decided to make the life-changing move into the Marine Corps.

“I’m glad I’ve made this step.  (The Marine Corps) has given me direction and confidence. For a while I didn’t know what I was going to do. I used to be real quiet and not very confident.  Now I believe I can do more,” said Albrecht.

Olsen and his family are all getting involved in promoting the Marine Corps way of life.

“Every tournament we go to, even in the national level, there has always been a Marine who has a son wrestling or that’s coaching the team. You can pick a Marine out from anywhere – not that they couldn’t see the Marine paraphernalia that my family wears.”

As an involved father, Olsen helped 70-pound Kameron get to the national wrestling championships in Enid, Okla., where he placed seventh in Greco-style and eighth in Freestyle wrestling.

“He is considered to be in the top 10 in the nation’s All-Americans. He worked hard and he did a great job,” said Olsen. “As long as he gives 110 percent he’s good to go.”

Kameron attributes his upbeat attitude and motivation to his dad.

“He’s always encouraging me and he’s always there. He hasn’t missed a tournament yet. It keeps me motivated and I know that he supports me and it just keeps me going,” said Kameron.  “My parents are my biggest inspiration.”

Kameron and his father work out together, and on average run about four to five miles after work and school.

“I give my son a lot of credit because it takes a lot of dedication and determination to go and step into a sport where you have not a clue and excel that much. He’s got the warrior spirit – the determination and the stubbornness to never give up – which is a good thing,” said Olsen. “His mom and sister are great supporters. It’s not him being an individual; it takes the family as a whole to support him, which we do. It takes a lot of sacrifice to be successful,” said Olsen.

Olsen is hoping to enlist his son into the Marine Corps before he retires. Kameron is well on his way to becoming a Marine, as his bedroom is already adorned with Marine Corps camouflaged netting and bed sheets.

“He wants to go to school on an NROTC scholarship. I’d like to see him start on the enlisted side, either do a PLC program or the Reserves or both, so he can get some good leadership ability through the reserves and get an understanding of that side of the house. There’s no reason why he can’t do both,” said Olsen, “it would benefit him more.”

9th Marine Corps District