MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Cpl. Jamel Herring, a boxer with the All-Marine Boxing Team aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, has been a fan of boxing since he was a child, but never dreamed it would take him as far as it has.
Oct. 8-17, Herring, along with 250 other service members hailing from 25 countries, will compete in the 53rd Conseil International du Sport Militaire’s (International Military Sports Council’s) World Military Boxing Championship.
Herring became the third and final AMBT representative in the upcoming CISM event at the 2010 Armed Forces Boxing Championship aboard Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Calif., by tying with Seaman Justin Diaz of the USS Pinckney out of Naval Base San Diego, Calif.
“I’ve been a fan of boxing for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until 2001, in high school, when I actually started doing it,” said Herring. “My friend’s father was a trainer and he invited me to try it out. Boxing made me stand out from the other school sports because it is a one-on-one competition.”
Herring joined the Marine Corps in 2003 as a basic electrician and was attached to 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group, aboard Camp Lejeune. He deployed to Iraq twice with his unit, first in 2005 and again in 2007.
It was between deployments in 2006 that Herring joined the AMBT – something he had heard about but did not originally intend to pursue.
“I assumed it would be too difficult for me to get accepted into, so I didn’t really think about joining the team,” said Herring. “But then a (noncommissioned officer) of mine said the team was stationed (aboard Camp Lejeune) and introduced me to the coach.”
Since becoming a boxer with the AMBT, Herring has twice won silver medals in the AFBC before winning his recent gold medal, which qualified him to compete in the CISM event. He also won both the North Carolina State and Southwestern Regional Golden Glove events.
In the upcoming CISM event, Herring is confident in his abilities, yet is aware of the impact it has on his career and training as a boxer.
“It’s a really challenging event, but I see it as a great learning experience, going up against boxers from different countries and styles,” said Herring. “But I worked hard to get here and I’m just going to do what I was taught to do.”
Herring, and his two other teammates competing in the CISM event, Lance Cpl. Tommy Roque and Cpl. Damarias Russell, will be training hard and preparing daily for the fights that await them. Not only are they fighting for themselves and for the AMBT, but they are also representing the Marine Corps and ultimately their country.