NEWS | June 13, 2014

Face of Defense: Former Australian Soldier Returns as U.S. Marine

By Marine Corps Cpl. James Gulliver Marine Rotational Force Darwin

Marine Corps Cpl. Christopher Eves, born in Queensland, Australia, is back in his native land, serving as a section leader with Weapons Company, 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Marine Rotational Force Darwin

Eves was raised just outside of Brisbane, Australia, though as the son of an Australian soldier, he said, he constantly was moving from place to place.

“I could never really call one place home,” he said. “We were always moving around, but the army lifestyle appealed to me.”

In 2004, Eves signed up to be an officer in the Australian army.

“A lot of my family had been in the army,” he said. “There was a lot of action going on at the time, so I wanted to get out and see the world.”

Eves worked with multiple U.S. military services, he said, but he first encountered U.S. Marines while participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

“They just had a similar attitude to the Australian soldiers,” he said. “They always got more done with less support. That’s what I loved about them.”

The Marines trained harder than everyone, they worked harder and they were the most professional, Eves added.

After six years in the Australian army, Eves said, he decided it was time to make his dream of being a Marine a reality. He and his wife moved to Virginia, where he enlisted into the Marine Corps. His leadership experience made the trials of boot camp much easier than they might have been for others, he said.

“He’s just one of those guys who is a born a leader,” said Marine Corps Cpl. Cameron Flavel, a squad leader with Weapons Company. “I remember one time in boot camp they had him teaching a land navigation class, because he knew more than the instructors.”

Eves said he was used to the trials of a military lifestyle, making the adjustment that most new Marines have to go through much easier. “Everything just came natural to me,” he added. “I already had a lot of experience, so I loved sharing it and helping out the other Marines.”

During his initial deployment to Okinawa, Eves was able to teach his Marines everything from jungle warfare to patrolling.

“I was only a lance corporal at the time, teaching classes that a staff sergeant should be teaching, just because of my prior experience,” he said. “I was really given a lot of opportunities that most junior Marines did not have.”

Eves has a laid-back leadership style, but he still commands respect from Marines in his section.

“He’s not the kind of guy who will scream at you if you mess up,” said Flavel, a native of San Angelo, Texas. “But all his Marines respect him, and are too scared to let him down.”

After spending three years in the Marine Corps, Eves received news that his unit would be returning to Australia on a deployment. “I was pretty excited to be coming back home,” he said. “I miss a lot about this country, especially the sports.”

Eves said he plans to continue his career in the Marine Corps and is thankful for all the opportunities and challenges it has offered him.

“What I love most about the Marines is that no matter where you come from or what your accent is, you’ll always be accepted as a brother,” he said. “I share all my experiences with my Marines, and they embrace it. Being able to see and learn from other people is what makes this organization so great.”