CAMP LEMONIER, Djibouti -- During a meritorious promotion ceremony held here Friday, the Marine Corps added another sergeant to its ranks.
Sgt. Drew Durocher, travel noncommissioned-officer-in-charge, Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa Disbursing office, surpassed his peers in a meritorious promotion board, making him one of the Corps’ newest sergeants.
“Sgt. Durocher is very knowledgeable,” said Chief Warrant Officer Samuel J. Tauriac, disbursing officer. “He’s definitely a go-to guy. He’s a mature individual who knows his goals.”
The 24-year-old native of Orlando, Fla., wasn’t planning on being “One of the Few and Proud” immediately after graduating Lake Brantley High School in 1999. One Sunday during his freshman year at the University of Central Florida, the Marine Corps recruiter called him, Durocher said.
“I told him ‘no,’ but he convinced me to come to the office,” Durocher said. The next day, he was in the Delayed Entry Program. “I joined the Marine Corps because that’s who called me. The Marine Corps caught my attention enough to listen to the recruiter and go to the office that Sunday.”
On Aug. 15, he was standing tall on the infamous yellow footprints on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. After 13 weeks of rigorous training, as a contract-guaranteed private first class Durocher graduated already ahead of many of the those he went to boot camp with.
“Boot camp showed me that if you do what you’re supposed to do, stuff gets done,” Durocher said. “If you follow orders, everything should be all right.”
Boot camp set the stage for what was to come. In the years that followed, Durocher has gone to more than eight boards and has been meritoriously promoted to each rank, including his newest.
“I pick up and retain information fairly easily,” Durocher said. “I just continue to do what I’ve done on previous boards.”
Whether going for a board or just doing his daily tasks, Durocher’s competitive nature and positive attitude sets him apart from many of his peers
“Anything I do, I do with my fullest effort to the best of my abilities,” Durocher said. “I’m going to keep that mentality and see where it takes me.”
Durocher is responsible for travel claims and advances for personnel traveling throughout the region on many of the missions for CJTF-HOA.
“Disbursing is the first and last step of a lot of the missions that go on here,” Durocher said.
Durocher handles on average 80 to 100 claims a week, and sometimes more for large-scale missions. He is solely responsible for ensuring each claim is met in a timely fashion, according to Tauriac.
“I wish I had 10 of him around,” Tauriac said. “He does his job with confidence, doing an excellent job everyday ensuring the work is done.”
Unlike his previous promotions, this one was Sgt. Durocher’s first in a deployed environment. Being pinned on sergeant by Tauriac and Brig. Gen. Samuel T. Helland, commanding general, CJTF-HOA, also added to the memorable experience, said Durocher.
“It felt good,” Durocher said. “I will never forget it.”
Durocher looks to continue his goals of being the best Marine he can be, he said. Those looking to pick up staff sergeant should be aware, Durocher intends on competing for the meritorious staff sergeant board once he becomes eligible.