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Interview with Derek Huff, January 26, 2021

Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia
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00:00:51 - Early Life

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Partial Transcript: So I was born in...

Segment Synopsis: Derek Huff talks about his active childhood and wanting to follow in his grandfather's footsteps and join the Marine Corps. He explains initially enlisting as Aviation Ordnance but switching his MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) to Infantry shortly after.

Keywords: Baseball; Football; Suwanee, Georgia; UGA (University of Georgia)

00:11:14 - Bootcamp

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Partial Transcript: So, okay, let's back up a little bit...

Segment Synopsis: Huff recalls his experiences during bootcamp at Parris Island. He talks about being promoted from Private to Squad Leader after graduation and receiving his Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.

Keywords: E2; Meritorious Promotion; South Carolina; Training

00:18:06 - Camp Lejeune

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Partial Transcript: So, so after that...

Segment Synopsis: Huff describes his time at Camp Lejeune in the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB). He discusses being assigned as an 0311 Rifleman and being exposed to extremely cold weather while training.

Keywords: Assaultmen; Machingunner; Mortarmen; North Carolina; Weapons Platoons

00:23:55 - Twentynine Palms

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Partial Transcript: February we finish...

Segment Synopsis: Huff explains being sent to Twentynine Palms in California in order to train in the Mojave Desert. He mentions the lack of leadership and being sent to a Tactical Small Unit Leaders (TSUL) course. There, he was promoted from Private First Class (PFC) to Lance Corporal, and then to Corporal (E-4).

Keywords: 3rd Battalion; 4th Marines; 7th Marine Regiment; Bob Hope USO; Infantry Battalion; Kilo Company; Leadership; Mojave Desert; NCO (Noncommissioned Officer)

00:34:09 - Australia

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Partial Transcript: Um, at that point...

Segment Synopsis: Huff shares his experiences from his training deployment to Hawaii, Guam, and ultimately Darwin, Australia. He discusses the tension between the United States and North Korea at the time and the training that was conducted with the Japanese and Australians. He also describes an incident in which he was bit by a poisonous snake and evacuated to a local hospital.

Keywords: Battalion; Ready Force

00:40:36 - Advanced Infantry Course

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Partial Transcript: Um, I ended up leaving a few weeks early...

Segment Synopsis: Huff explains leaving Darwin early in order to attend AIC (Advanced Infantry Course), which he describes as a course provided for squad leaders. He discusses reaching Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and the physical and mental demands of the course.

Subjects: Twentynine Palms

00:46:04 - Iraq

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Partial Transcript: From there we...

Segment Synopsis: Huff recalls going back to Twentynine Palms and being meritoriously promoted to Sergeant (E-5). He then explains being deployed to Al-Anbar Province in Iraq where he was in charge of twenty marines. While there, he was part of the Quick Reaction Force, patrolled the surrounding areas with M-ATVs, and worked alongside the Iraqi Police Force.

Keywords: 3rd Battalion 7th Marines; Camp Manion; Corporal; Escort; Germany; Habbaniyah; Interpreters; Kuwait; Military All-Terrain Vehicles; Post; QRF; Section Leader; Squad Leader

00:56:14 - Living Situation in Iraq

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Partial Transcript: I mean, did you go other places?

Segment Synopsis: Huff describes what a typical day in Iraq looked like during his deployment. He discusses taking patrols to Al-Fallujah, Ramadi, Western Iraq, Al-Asad Air Base, and other check points. He also shares what it was like living in shared tents, eating at DFACs (Dining Facilities), and making both positive and negative memories during this deployment.

Keywords: Habbaniyah; Iraqi Police Force; Platoons

01:05:50 - Leaving the military

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Partial Transcript: I came back to Georgia...

Segment Synopsis: Huff shares why he decided to end his career with the Marine Corps and return back to Georgia. He credits this decision to his back injuries, as well as his desire to attend college and enter the business world.

Keywords: Career; IRR (Individual Ready Reserve)

01:08:57 - Transition to Student Life

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Partial Transcript: When you leave active duty...

Segment Synopsis: Huff recalls beginning his college career at the University of North Georgia only a few months after he left the Marine Corps. He discusses transferring to the University of Georgia with intentions of attending the Terry College of Business and graduating with degree in Business Management. Finally, he shares what it's like having different priorities compared to his peers and wanting to rebrand himself as a business person rather than a veteran.

Keywords: Athens; Home Owner; Oconee; Student Veterans Resource Center