It is said that without discipline, there is no Marine Corps, so it is fitting that the extraordinary discipline of King alumnus Ben Nadler ’17 led him to choose the Marines above all other branches of the military.
“The Marines have the longest basic training out of all the branches,” said Nadler, who shared that he naturally gravitates toward challenges. “They put a large emphasis on discipline, tradition, drill, and physical fitness, and this is reflected in their boot camp.”
He did not have his eye on a military career at the outset. An ace in math and science, he graduated from King School and headed to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to study business and launch a career in finance. During his sophomore year, he began seeking more than just a career in finance.
Nadler’s search for a service-oriented direction led him to the Marines, and he began to train for boot camp. Despite rigorous workouts, he maintained his academic performance and graduated from college on May 8, 2021, with a bachelor’s degree in business.
The day after his graduation, he headed to the United States Marine Corps boot camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island. There, he endured 13 weeks of intensive basic training.
“I was definitely one of the most prepared recruits,” he said. “I was more physically fit than most and had a couple of extra years of maturity, which helped a lot. I was chosen to be one of four squad leaders on the first day. My platoon started with 57, and we ended up with 44.”
On August 20, 2021 he graduated from boot camp and reported to Jacksonville, North Carolina’s Camp Lejeune for two months at Infantry Training Battalion. He is now spending some time at home with his family before reporting to his permanent duty station as a machine gunner in the Third Battalion Sixth Marines back at Camp Lejeune.
Nadler’s family is surprised by his decision to enlist, as there is not a family history of military service, but they are inspired by his resolve. His brother Sam Nadler, who graduated from King in 2019, and his sister Sienna Barlow who is currently in the eighth grade, have been cheering him on throughout his journey, along with their parents.
“We are in awe of Ben’s strength and determination,” said his mother Alison Barlow. “After getting over the initial surprise of Ben wanting to enlist, and learning a lot about the Marines, we know that Ben is truly meant for this.”