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Pfc. Alejandra Gordon didn’t get to walk the line when she graduated CHS nor did she when she graduated Marine boot camp. But you know what? said her mother with tears of pride “It doesn’t matter. She did it. She’s a Marine.”

“That photo of her holding her Eagle, Globe and Anchor, you could see the pride,” said Gordon’s mother, Kristen Gordon.


Gordon graduated early from Coffee County Central High School last year then joined the United States Marine Corps., a dream of hers since she was 13.

On Easter Day, at age 17 Gordon shipped off to Parris Island for boot camp. On the last night of the Crucible, a final exam of sorts that tests the mettle of recruits, Gordon tore her ACL.

Her instructors told Gordon that she had completed enough to graduate, but Gordon, a squad leader, decided to stay with her Marines and hump it back.

The Crucible is a 54-hour ordeal, involving minimal food, 48 mile hike, almost no sleep.

For her to have done it injured and help the girls she was leading, is a true testament of a Marine,” Gordon’s mother said.  

“She did excellent there. She’s a tan belt in mixed martial arts. Received expert shooter, after never having held a gun before shipping out,” her mother said.

“There is a very small percentage of Marine females,” she said, “and to have gained the title Marine before her 18th birthday.”

Unfortunately, Gordon recuperating from surgery is stuck at Parris Island with about 10 others from her platoon who were injured during boot camp.

Once Gordon recovers, she will train at Camp Geiger, N.C. for marine combat training then ship out for further training as a maintenance management specialist. 

Being a Marine has been a lifelong goal for Gordon, since she was enrolled in the Young Marine program. Through that program she was able to visit Parris Island and see how Marines are trained.

“After that she never wanted to be anything else,” her mother said. “She did it.”

Gordon passed the Crucible on July 4. Her mother, diagnosed with stage-four cancer, was able to congratulate her.  

John has been with the Manchester Times since May 2011. John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories. John is a 1994 graduate of Tullahoma High School, a graduate of Motlow State Community College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English from Middle Tennessee State University. He lives in Tullahoma, enjoys painting, dancing and exploring the outdoors.

Staff Writer

Download the free Manchester Times mobile app at the app store. John has won Tennessee Press Association awards for Best News Photo and placed in numerous other categories.

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