QUANTICO, Va --
Visit the webpage at http://officer.marines.com/marine/quality_citizens
and you may be surprised to see Marine Corps Systems Command’s Major Alan Singleton front and center in the photo at the top of the page. Singleton, the Command’s Staff Secretary, was chosen by Marine Corps Recruiting Command for a photo shoot and the resulting photo is being used online to publicize Marine officers as quality citizens. The photo is also part of a 30-second video advertisement celebrating Black History Month. The video can be viewed on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1PR67m3kXM
According to the Major, photos bearing his image have also been displayed or used in various media including JET magazine, a children's book and billboards in many states. There is also a Marine Corps television commercial that aired earlier this year during the National Football League’s National Football Conference and American Football Conference championship games and the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) All-Star game.
In 2008, Marine Corps Recruiting Command (MCRC) approached the Expeditionary Warfare School (EWS) looking for prospective officers for a photo shoot. EWS, where Singleton was assigned as a student at the time, provided MCRC with photos of each of its officers as possible candidates. MCRC chose two EWS officers, one of them being Singleton. The photo shoot experience gave the Major a new appreciation for modeling.
“I must admit that I did feel like a model, and modeling is not easy,” Singleton said. “I have a newfound respect for the ‘real’ models out there. The wearing of makeup, the long hours of standing at the position of attention and keeping various poses under the hot lights were all quite the challenge to overcome. But as the old Marine slogan goes, ‘improvise, adapt and overcome.’”
The part-time model felt honored to represent the Corps.
“Despite the fact the photo bears my physical image, what that photo represents to me is so much more,” Singleton said. “It represents the legacy of my beloved Corps and the hopes and dreams of a potential Marine striving for the intangibles of a higher purpose, and finding a connection to achieving that realization as he or she gazes into the symbolism of that photo.”
The photo bearing his image brings back memories.
“Even today when I look at that photo,” he said, “I hearken back to 19 years ago when I was a younger man at a recruiting station interested in joining the likes of the ‘Few and the Proud,’ and how I wanted to be just like the image that I saw on the recruiting poster. It was truly a humbling experience that had come full circle.”