BHS Alum Becomes a US Marine!


On Friday January 27, 2023, Bethpage alum Mackenzie Moerler graduated from United States Marine Corps Boot Camp in Parris Island, South Carolina. Since her return home, The Eagle’s Cry had the opportunity to sit down with Mackenzie and learn about her experiences from the past three months.

Mackenzie left Bethpage for Parris Island on October 30 and took the first steps to becoming a part of the USMC. Although the first week was a complete shock, Mackenzie says that she was adjusted to her new routine by the third week of training. Of course, bootcamp comes with endless challenges physically and mentally.

Mackenzie reveals, “Teamwork was definitely a challenge since girls in my platoon did not exactly get along too well.” 

In addition to challenges between fellow recruits, the lack of communication with the rest of the world was a challenge.

Mackenzie explains that communicating solely through letters “was definitely different, it was a culture shock, letters take so long to send so you can’t exactly have a real conversation.”

Typically, most Bethpage High School students go on to attend college but Mackenzie says this path was simply not right for her. 

She explains, “I have always looked up to the people who serve our country, and school was just never my thing. As I was submitting applications, I knew going to college was not the right choice for me.”

Mackenzie recommends BHS students who have interest in pursuing a military career speak with people who have served, or are currently serving to find out if the path is right for them.

After a long thirteen weeks, Mackenzie Moerler officially became a United States Marine. Graduation is one of the exciting events for new Marines and their families.

Mackenzie’s father, Mike Moerler, explains, “The excitement when you get to the island and the anticipation of seeing your kid transform into a United States Marine is one of the most exciting and proudest days of your life.”

Mackenzie says, “I cried. I was so overwhelmed with emotion after working so hard and being away from the people I love. It felt like the hard work had paid off.” 

Mackenzie is now enjoying time with friends and family here in Bethpage until February 7. After her time home, she will depart for twenty-nine days of Marine Combat Training at Camp Geiger, North Carolina. Following MCT, Mackenzie will train to be a Military Police at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.

Mackenzie’s confident demeanor and natural leadership skills never failed to bring her teammates, classmates, and friends into positive spirits. She serves as an inspiration, not only to myself, but also to her family, friends, and all students at BHS.