At a mere 5-2 and 108 pounds, Sydney Thompson is probably not who you think of when you picture a Marine. However, a “can do” attitude and a protective instinct make her a perfect fit for the U.S. Marine Corp.
Thompson, a senior at Cambridge High School, recently enlisted and will be shipping out for basic training at Paris Island in August. Thompson did not hesitate to sign up after speaking with the Marine recruiter.
“A couple of weeks ago, the recruiter came into the school, and I stared talking to them,” Thompson said. “It just clicked. At that moment, I was like, yes, I want to do this. The recruiter came to my house the next day and then I went and got my physical and was sworn in that day.”
She is determined to show people that size does not matter.
“Even though people keep telling me I’m too small and I won’t be able to accomplish that, I keep saying ‘yes, I can.’” Thompson said. “I have the ability to accomplish what I want to do. I will do it. I have the mindset that I can do if I put enough work in.”
The same determination helped the diminutive Thompson on the soccer field as well where she picked up the nickname “human wrecking ball” from one of the high school soccer coaches.
The protective instincts kick in when she feels her family is threatened.
“Always been that type of person,” Thompson said. “I’m a protective sister, I’ve protected my brother, even though he’s older. No one can touch my family.”
Family includes her mom LeVanelle Marmie, her stepdad Dennis Cramblet, her younger brother Linkin Hamilton and the previously mentioned older brother, Hunter Thompson, who is married to Brianna Lane.
“One of the reasons I wanted to join the Marines is to make my brother proud and show him that we can do anything,” Thompson said.
Thompson also has participated in track and field where she was a pole vaulter and works at the Forum to earn extra money to help her family.
Since she began thinking about enlisting, Thompson has also made an effort to improve her grades and make herself a better person.
“I wanted to better myself this year,” Thompson said. “I think this year is about me being better before I go start my life. I bettered myself by wanting to be a Marine.”
“I want to prove to people that anyone can do what they want,” Thompson continued. “This is what I want. I want to prove to people it doesn’t matter how small they are, or what obstacles they face, they can do it.”