NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — A common slogan for the Marines is the few and the proud, and Cliff Martin is one of them.

Martin began his military career in 1994 where he served as a corporal. He served until 2000.

When asked about why he decided to join the service, Martin’s response was, “I wanted a challenge. I knew from the time I was really young all the way up until I left for basic training that I was going to be in the military. There’s a long, long history in my family being in the military and stuff. I knew I was going into one branch or another somewhere. But I was going into the military.”

Martin says he ultimately chose the Marine Corps because it was a challenge.

“Again the challenge of being a Marine. It’s a title that’s not given, it’s a title that’s earned, to be called a Marine. It’s a brotherhood that’s just, it’s very, it’s a tight bond. You know, I could see another Marine out on the street you know, or something like that, and know that’s a brother right there. And he’s earned that title to be called a Marine. That and I did want to go into the Air Force originally, but then I found out, well for one to do what I wanted to do, which was to be a pilot, they’re like ‘You have to go to the academy’. And I was like ‘Yeah, that’s out of the question’. I was like, yep, I’ll find something else to do,” Martin recalled.

Martin began his military career at basic training at MCRD Paris Island, South Carolina. He was stationed in South Carolina at Camp Lejeune.

Martin says the most rewarding part of his service is having the title of Marine.

“Air Force, you’re in the Air Force. Army, you’re in the Army. Navy, you’re in the Navy. Again, when you become a Marine, you know, when who was it, Brigadier General Climp was the commanding general of our, of Paris Island when I was there and that morning when he finally tells you, you know, ‘Welcome Marines’, you know you finally get called a Marine, before that, you’re just a recruit. And I think that guys that were in around the same time as me and even guys before then that were referred to anything other than a recruit, once you got that first time of being called a Marine, that pride that you take in knowing I’m part of something that not everyone gets to be apart of. And that commercial, the few and the proud, there’s a reason for that. I tell people there’s a reason. It’s the few and the proud,” said Martin.

After leaving the Marines after six years, Martin became a master plumber. He spent his weekends working and later mastered the craft.

Later on, Martin then took on his favorite role, being a father. He says he takes pride in all of his roles, but his role as a Marine really started it all.

In his free time, Martin attends powwows and plays airsoft. He encourages other veterans to find hobbies they enjoy. For him, airsoft is a stress reliever and another community he is a part of. He encourages those who have served to consider trying the sport.