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U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Rosie Gutierrez overcame adversity to eventually be named Marine of the Year at Marine Corps Base Quantico in Quantico, Virginia, where her perseverance, determination and Brownsville upbringing continue to shape her Marine journey.
In January 2021, Gutierrez was one of three Rio Grande Valley young women to make history as part of the first group of women recruits to receive basic training at the legendary Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California.
Gutierrez hit the ground running, pushing herself harder and further than she ever had before. But on training day 14, she tore her ACL while navigating an obstacle course.
“I remember hearing a loud pop. I fell to the ground and just felt a sharp pain in my leg,” Gutierrez recalled after she graduated from Marine boot camp to Marine Lance Cpl. Dakota Dodd in a story written about her for the Facebook page of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina.
Gutierrez spent 10 months in a recovery platoon aboard MCRD Parris Island. She was closely monitored by her doctor and would spend most of her time in rehabilitation classes.
“Constantly seeing other recruits get picked up into their training platoons motivated me,” Gutierrez said. “I knew that I could recover from this and still earn my title” of United States Marine.
After her time in the recovery platoon, Gutierrez was picked up into Platoon 4009, Papa Company, 4th Recruit Training Battalion, where she continued her recruit training journey.
On March 1, 2022, one year after boot camp, Gutierrez was promoted to corporal and plans to submit her credentials for promotion to meritorious sergeant as soon as a Marine board is available to review her qualifications.
Gutierrez is home on leave in Brownsville this week visiting family and friends, after which she will return to her duty station at Marine Corps Base Quantico as a supply administrator.
“I had gone there for a reason,” Gutierrez said of her decision to enlist in the Marines and subsequent injury.
“I used that as motivation to finish what I had started. I had the surgery and started retraining in December of that same year. …I had to retrain my knee to be a knee again and was cleared to re-enter training Papa company. I finished February 2022 and basically started back where I had left off. I’m a 3043 supply clerk.”
Gutierrez is goal-oriented and said she enjoys the Marine Corps’ brotherhood/sisterhood orientation.
“For me, I’m very into fitness. After this injury, it was tough. Once I recovered, I was able to continue doing what I was doing before. It brought me back to continue lifting, running, being physically active … just challenging my body, how much I could run, how much I could lift has always been something I’ve found interesting, but that’s something I use after work, before work, whatever time it is I’ll be at the gym,” she said.
Gutierrez is already looking toward a second enlistment.
“I won’t be up for another re-enlistment until 2025. …Where I’m stationed is non-deployable, but I’m hoping to go on a few deployments just to get an experience of that side of the Marine Corps,” she said.
Gutierrez comes from a family oriented toward law enforcement and military service. The youngest of three siblings, her oldest brother is a U.S. Border Patrol officer and her older brother is also a U.S. Marine.
Her father David Gutierrez is a former Brownsville Police Department officer and a 22-year Border Patrol veteran.