By Coco Marcil ‘15
Ckahlysia “Clyde” Walker, a sophomore at Simon’s Rock, is not your typical college student. Last fall, Clyde was accepted to highly selective Marine Corp Delayed Entry Program (DEP) and will be heading out to boot camp after commencement in May. Until then, she’s attending weekly meetings with her recruiter and other recruits, and sometimes, her recruiter will come down to campus to work.
Clyde always knew that she was going to join the military, but didn’t plan on enlisting until after she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree. On an investigative visit to the recruiting office, Clyde learned about the DEP program and decided to go for it. After earning her Associates of Arts Degree she will head to basic training in Parris Island, South Carolina, two years ahead of schedule. Because Clyde will be going in with an Associate’s degree, she will enter as an E2, which is a higher ranking than what you would be coming directly out of high school.
A military brat herself, Clyde lived in Texas, Georgia, and New Jersey before coming to Simon’s Rock. Clyde loves the military; her mom was a drill sergeant in the Army, and Clyde would occasionally go to work with her. It was then that the idea to join the military sparked. The Marine Corps, however, is not for the faint of heart. You “have to be the best, the strongest” to be able to join.
Clyde’s informal advisor, Colonel of the Airborne, U.S. Army (Ret.) and Visiting Professor of Chemistry Patty Dooley, Ph.D., knows how difficult it is to get into the Marines. “This is no small feat,” Patty says. “It’s a highly selective process.” Clearly proud of Clyde’s accomplishment, Patty’s Army-Navy rivalry is still in evidence. "Years ago, the USMC recruiting trope was 'We're looking for a few good men.' We in the Army would snidely remark that, 'Yes, well, all the good ones are in the Army, so keep looking.' Then even the Marine Corps started saying it was 'looking for a few good men AND women.' "
Like many Rockers, Clyde was bored by high school, and would spend her time bored in class, writing about her future plans. She did some research and came across Simon’s Rock, where she has made two friends that she “loves like family.” Clyde’s favorite classes at Simon’s Rock have been Religion and Literature, taught by Rebecca Fiske, and Introduction to Creative Writing, taught by Brendan Mathews. “If I hadn’t come to Simon’s Rock,” she said, “right now I’d probably be in GA, sitting in front of the TV, not knowing what I want to do with my life.”
If there was only one thing to take away from Clyde, it is definitely her determined spirit, and to “never give up on something that you want to do.” She has certainly been a proponent of that here on campus.