By Sgt. Logan Block, Marine Corps Recruiting Command
All Marines have a fighting spirit; a reason for serving our country. Capt. Erin Demchko, a Hackensak, New Jersey native, found her fighting spirit at a young age and continues to give her all each and every day.
Demchko’s fighting spirit is what makes her an excellent Marine to represent the Corps in its latest advertisement, “Battle Up.”
“Battle Up” is the third commercial inspired by the “Battles Won” brand idea, and the first Marine Corps advertisement prominently focusing on a female. It shows the evolution of a Marine as she grows from a young student and athlete with a fighting spirit and sense of responsibility to a battle-tested Marine overcoming every challenge presented.
“The five scenes in the ad depict experiences of Marines who have served or are currently serving, and targets the type of person we want to serve as a U.S. Marine in the future,” Demchko said. “I was honored to be asked to participate.”
Born in 1985, she participated in a number of team sports in her youth, and served as team captain of her soccer and track and field teams. She also volunteered at her local fire department, where she says she found the value of service.
Demchko was a junior in high school when the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11. This tragic event heightened her sense of patriotism and desire to protect her country, leading her to apply to the United States Naval Academy. During her time there, she was on the Women’s Cross Country Team, where she held the position of team captain her senior year. She was also selected to attend Army Airborne School, where she became Basic Jump Qualified. She said it was during her first year at the Academy that Demchko decided she wanted to earn her commission to serve in the Marine Corps because of its prestige and honor, and the opportunity to be on a great team. She was commissioned May 25, 2007.
From there, she attended The Basic School at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, where new lieutenants are trained to be provisional rifle platoon commanders. She earned the “Steel Susan” award during her time there for attaining a higher physical training score than every other female in her class. Upon graduation from TBS, she reported to Camp Johnson, North Carolina, to train in her military occupational specialty of logistics officer.
Demchko ran on the All-Marine Running team from 2008-2014. During this time she competed for the team in the Armed Forces Cross Country Championships, Armed Forces Marathon Championships and Challenge Cup. She is a fitness enthusiast who says she continually challenges herself to grow.
“I fight every day to sharpen my mind, strengthen my body, and to take care of the Marines to my right and left,” Demchko said. “My fighting spirit is the continuous drive that I have to accomplish my mission.”
During her time in the Corps, Demchko has served in several billets to include Squadron Logistics Officer, Engineer Operations Company Commander, Female Engagement Team Officer In Charge, Candidate Training Platoon Commander and Candidate Training Company Executive officer, to name a few.
Demchko has had a wide range of experiences during her career, including a deployment in support of combat operations in Operation Enduring Freedom, where she volunteered to serve on a Female Engagement Team, and exercises such as Eager Lion 2014, Balikatan 2015, Rim of the Pacific 2016, and Philippines Bilateral Exercise 2017. During her numerous deployments and billets, Demchko has earned the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon and Drill Instructor Ribbon. She currently serves as the Deputy Camp Commander for Camp Courtney, Okinawa, Japan.
Demchko said she was honored to represent the Marines by acting in “Battle Up,” and hopes she inspires young people who share her fighting spirit to consider service as a Marine.