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Beating the Odds: Travis Marcellino Becomes a Military Leader

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First Published: 21st of July 2022 by Patrick Carpen. Contributed by Kevon Lorrimer and Travis Marcellino.

Last updated: December 6, 2022 at 16:14 pm

Life places some of us in challenging circumstances sometimes. But in these difficult times, we must remember the importance of holding our ground. The story of Travel Marcellino, the young GDF commander from Region 1, is one of principle, integrity, honesty, and most importantly, beating the odds. We hope the sensational success story of Travis Marcellino, who grew up without either parent, will inspire you to always see the silver lining in every dark cloud, and to remember that crime is never an option.

Travis Marcellino (left) and Kevon Lorrimer (right).

25-year-old Lieutenant Travis Marcellino was born in Hobo Hill, Mabaruma Settlement, North West District, Region # 1. He is the youngest of 5 siblings: 4 sisters and 1 brother. Travis’ mom passed away while he was still an infant, and his father abandoned the siblings at the same time.

Travis attended Sheba Nursery School at the age of 4, then went on to attend Mabaruma Primary School from Grades 1 through Grade 3. He then migrated to Berbice along with his other two sisters to live with their eldest sister, Serita Nanan. In Berbice, Travis continued Primary School by attending All Saint’s Primary in New Amsterdam in the year 2006. In 2009, he wrote NGSA, passing with a whooping 504 marks which placed him at the region’s top School, New Amsterdam Multilateral Secondary. He attended the New Amsterdam Multilateral Secondary School for 1 year, but subsequently relocated with his relatives to the capital city, Georgetown.

In September, 2010, Travis was placed at Richard Ishmael Secondary School even though, he relates, the marks that he had at NGSA could have awarded him a better school in the town. He continued his secondary education there until he wrote CXC in 2014. During the time when he was about to write his CXC exams, tragedy struck again. This time, his brother passed away from malaria while working in the gold mines.

Even though the death of my brother took a huge emotional toll on me, I did not give up, but instead transformed my pain into motivation to study harder and excel at CXC for the sake of my family. And so it was. When the results came out, my relatives were proud of me. I passed all 9 subjects that I wrote. I gained 3 grade ones, 3 distinctions, 4 grade twos, and 2 grade threes.

Travis Marcellino

After Travis completed high school, he started to work as a laborer at various construction sites between the ages of 16 and 17. Observing his strength, diligence, and outstanding physical potential, someone encouraged the youth to join the GDF via the Officer’s Cadet Course since he also fulfilled the academic requirements. The ambitious youth took the advice and applied. This was a transformative decision of his life and one at which he will always look back with pride and satisfaction.

His application was successful and Travis soon passed all the various assessments and interviews, qualifying for the Standard Officer’s Course #49. The course started on 8th April, 2016 with a strength of 36 Potential Officers striving for success.

During the first year, the soldiers endured vigorous training and harsh conditions. At some point, Travis felt like giving up and leaving the course like so many others, but he didn’t. His pride and the thought of disappointing his relatives fueled his resolve, transforming each challenge into strength.

At one point in time, I was the worst student at drilling, and this worried me a lot since it’s a requirement in order to be commissioned. However, I practiced in any little spare time I was given, getting better each time.

Travis Marcellino

After the 1 year of intense training, Travis was promoted to Ensigns in early March, 2017, which was the rank which they were given prior to becoming official officers of the state. A few weeks later, on 23rd March, the course was finally completed which saw 12 new officers graduating. Three of them were foreigners from Belize and Antigua, and there was 1 lone female from Guyana. The Commissioning parade was held at Base Camp Ayanganna where Travis led the parade from the front.

This was one of the best moments of our lives where we were referred to as 2nd Lieutenants, our new rank. Various awards were given out on that day in which I was awarded the Best Drill Award for my outstanding skill. Later that day, we received our Instrument of Commissioned at State House from Guyana’s former President, His Excellency Brigadier David Granger.

Travis Marcellino

After being commissioned, the young Lieutenant served at the 1st Infantry Battalion as a Platoon Commander whereby he was deployed twice to both Eteringbang and Kaikan, located on the Venezuelan Border, and New River, which is located at the Suriname Border. During those deployments, he was given the appointment as Location Commander which entailed tremendous responsibilities of soldiers and administration of the base.

Presently I’m holding the appointment of Location Commander of Mabaruma, something I always wished for since childhood. I wanted to return to Mabaruma, not just as a soldier but as a commander or leader, someone whom persons can look up to. I wanted to be here to encourage the younger ones, and by extension older ones, that you can become something, a Leader, from nothing to something. I continue to work hard in achieving success and being a role model to societies.

Travis Marcellino

My message to the younger generation is to take your education seriously and perform excellently in school. Once you’re successful, opportunity will always present itself. Life may throw challenges in your face, but the manner in which you deal with those challenges will determine your future. During my tenure of challenges, I learnt that success doesn’t come overnight. You have to work hard and make sacrifices to achieve what you want and live life with a positive mindset knowing that success is ahead.

Travis Marcellino
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