Ryan Burke, tCSO at Safety Partners, is also part of the New Hampshire Marine Corps and currently on reserve. Note, as part of Safety Partners policies, we allow any employee to take a leave of absence from work to serve in the United States uniformed services – including active or inactive military duty for training, National Guard duty or training, and Armed Forces Reserve duty.

To observe Veterans Day, Emily Smith, our Digital Marketing Manager, recently interviewed Ryan about his experience in the Marine Corps. Learn more about Ryan’s experience below!

Where were you living when you were serving in the military?

We bounced all around. We started off in Massachusetts, then went to Virginia. Then we went to California. And then after a few months there, that’s when we shipped out to Japan, Korea, and the Philippines.

How long was your time there?

I think in total time overseas, it was a little over eight months. In total with my time in the U.S., it was a little over a year.

What made you want to join the Marine Corps?

As a kid, I had always had a fascination for the military. I always thought when I graduated college that I would join. But then, around my sophomore year of college, while playing lacrosse, I was like, “This just isn’t enough.” I need more, you know, more of a challenge and more diversity in my life. I just thought the Marine Corps would be the best way. And it was! So I enlisted in my sophomore year of college. After some time playing lacrosse, after an injury, I shipped out to boot camp and went through the additional training after boot camp.

What was boot camp like?

It’s definitely one of the most unique experiences I’ve ever had. How do I describe the Marine Corps boot camp? It really just puts things into perspective. It takes so much discipline, when really, boot camp is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Marine Corps – which is the crazy part. There’s so much more to it, but it was very intense from the second you get on the bus at the airport to the minute you leave that island, Parris Island, South Carolina. It’s very intense, and 13 weeks long.

What made you want to choose that specific branch that you joined in the Marine Corps?

I chose the Marine Corps because it was always just associated with being the hardest, toughest one to get in, and it was exciting to be part of the hardest and toughest. That’s just kind of my personality. Find the hardest thing to do and you know, do my best.

You mentioned you served in different sites, many of them abroad. What did it feel like? What was your favorite spot, and why?

My favorite spot was probably Seoul, Korea. The number of cultures over there from I mean, you have Korean you have Japanese over there. You have Chinese, Vietnamese, you have Russian. I mean, Seoul was just also incredibly large. To this day, I still think it’s much larger than New York City. We were located right down in the middle. Just talking to people, you know, hanging out with all the locals. And so getting to experience that culture, seeing the DMZ – that was an awesome experience.

Do you think that your experience changed your mindset in different areas of life? How has it impacted you now?

It’s opened my eyes to different cultures and ways of living in the world. There are so many different ways of going about things, like different manners and more. The smallest things that are normal there, aren’t normal here.

So how do you stay connected to the Marine Corps now?

I’m technically still in the reserves. So I still have to do one weekend a month, two weeks a year thing. As far as deployments go, I’m not sure. But for right now, back to reserve status.

Do you do anything to observe Veterans Day as a member of the Marine Corps?

Normally we would have the Marine Corps ball. Because of obvious reasons, I don’t think that’s going to happen this year. That’s usually a good time.

Ryan Burke is a tCSO at Safety Partners who is also part of the New Hampshire Marine Corps on reserve. As part of Safety Partners policies, we allow any employee to take a leave of absence from work to serve in the United States uniformed services – including active or inactive military duty for training, National Guard duty or training, and Armed Forces Reserve duty.

To learn more about careers at Safety Partners, head to our Careers Page.