Olympic Hopeful Q&A With Staff Sgt. James Shillow

8 Feb 2007 | Lance Cpl. Patrick M. Fleischman

Wrestler Profile:
Name: Staff Sgt. James Shillow
MOS: 0369 - Platoon sergeant
Unit: 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division
Hometown: Jonesboro, Ga.
Experience: 18-year-wrestler, nine in the Marine Corps, USA Wrestling University Age National Champion, six-time Gold Medal winner Armed Forces Championships, four-time USA Wrestling National Team Member.

Question and answer with Shillow:
Q: What do you think about coming to Camp Lejeune?
A: I think Lejeune is a great place because we’ll have a larger recruitment base and access to better facilities.

Q: What do you think of your team?
A: We’re not a big team right now and there are a lot of new guys. It’s all about rebuilding this year. The operational tempo is high so we lost some good wrestlers to deployments.

Q: How are the new wrestlers holding up?
A: We have some young guys on the team, but they have potential to make it. They’re good Marines, which will make them great wrestlers.

Q: What is it like to be a Marine and on the team? What kind of responsibilities do you have?
A: You’re still a Marine on the team. Your still responsible for MCI’s, the rifle range, physical fitness tests, gas chamber and anything else Marines have to do.

Q: What do you think of the team coach?
A: He is doing an outstanding job and he’s tough. I need that in a coach and it’s what helps me figure out what I am doing wrong.

Q: How does being a Marine make you a good wrestler?
A: You take your Marine Corps experiences like boot camp and Iraq and use these things to give you an advantage on the mat. Marines are tough through their training.

Q: Speaking of Iraq during your time Ramadi, with the Quick Reaction Force, Headquarters Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, how did that help you become a better wrestler?
A: I wasn’t wrestling at all in Iraq. I spent most of my time on patrols, searching houses and combat operations. The time there made me hungry to do better and wrestling more.

Q: Last question. What is your goal for this year?
A: My goal is to make the Olympic Team and take the gold.