Photo Information

U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. Viktoriia Fedosova, the Company Honor Graduate with India Co., 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, and her son, Victor sit together on a bench in Sevierville, Tennessee, Feb. 15, 2023. The Marine Corps seeks to find and attract the Marine of tomorrow – a smarter, lifelong learner who meets our tough physical standards and understands that while we modernize equipment and tactics, our success depends on their ability to adapt to emergent threats in austere environments. Through her hard work, Fedosova proved that she has what it takes to be a United States Marine. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl. Skyler Harris)

Photo by Cpl. Skyler Harris

Sevierville native earns honor graduate at MCRD Parris Island

29 Mar 2024 | PEO Land Systems

 In the heart of Tennessee, amidst the rolling hills and vibrant communities, lies a story of courage, perseverance, and the unwavering human spirit. U.S. Marine Corps Pfc. Viktoriia Fedosova, a native of Kherson, Ukraine, embarked on a life-altering journey that took her from the quaint landscapes of Sevierville, TN, to becoming India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion’s honor graduate at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina, Feb. 9, 2024.

In 2015, Fedosova emigrated from Ukraine to the United States, leaving behind her extended family and navigating the complexities of American society. Upon her arrival in Sevierville, Tennessee, she was employed at a local Japanese Restaurant, where she worked to provide for herself and her son, Victor.

Fedosova’s ambition and desire to overcome challenges didn’t stop at getting to the United States. When Russia launched its initial invasion of her home country on Feb. 22, 2022, she decided to act and made her way to a Marine Corps recruiter.

“My desire to become a United States Marine started when Russia invaded Ukraine, I felt so helpless,” said Fedosova with a saddened look on her face. “Hell, I decided then and there that I wanted to join the Marine Corps because I knew they were the most challenging and had the hardest boot camp.”

Undeterred by the obstacles before her, Fedosova decided to enlist in the United States Marine Corps, driven by a deep-seated desire to learn self-defense, serve her new country, and forge a path of empowerment for herself and her family.

“She is an absolute physical stud,” said Recruiting Substation Commander Staff Sgt. James Merrithew. “Every day she challenged herself to push beyond her limits leading up to her ship date, I knew she was gonna be alright.”

Near midnight on Apr. 24, 2023, she arrived on the yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina. She was immediately named “guide” during receiving week and maintained this position, helping the recruits in her platoon.

Nearing the Crucible, a grueling 54-hour training exercise designed to assess recruits’ physical endurance, teamwork and mental resilience through a series of challenges; she was confronted with a stark reality that threatened to upend her aspirations. Just nine days before the crucible, Fedosova broke her femur in half during training.

“I had an emergency surgery, and they drilled a titanium rod all the way from my hip to my knee,” Fedosova described pointing to where the injury occurred. “They wanted to send me home, but I knew there was no way I was leaving Parris Island without the eagle, globe and anchor in my hand.”

Once Fedosova’s surgery had been completed, she reported to the Female Rehabilitation Platoon (FRP). Over the next six months, she spent her time in rehabilitation getting stronger and ready to return to training. She quickly earned the platoon guide position for FRP, leaving an indelible mark and nurturing a sense of sisterhood and support among her fellow female recruits.

“She really helped to mentor me while in the Female Rehabilitation Platoon,” said Recruit Cheyenne Harris with Delta Co., 1st Recruit Training Battalion and a native of Dyersburg, Tennessee. “She was an inspiration to me with how long she had been on the island, it made me want to not give up being in the same situation.”

After six months of painstaking rehabilitation Fedosova was able to pick up training again with Platoon 3001, India Company. She was for a third time appointed as a platoon guide and was put back into a leadership role. Nearing the Crucible again, she was pulled into the Drill Instructor's hut by her Senior and Chief Drill Instructor, where they told her she would be the company honor graduate. She felt honored, and at the same time, she felt she didn't deserve this recognition, but her drill instructors reassured her.

‘It's not about the scores entirely,” said Staff Sgt. Alex McClain, a chief drill instructor with India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. “You are a badass recruit, and you deserve this.”

Her journey from being an immigrant to a single mother and then a Marine had its challenges. From the grueling physical demands of boot camp to the emotional toll of being separated from her family, Fedosova faced adversity at every turn. Yet, through it all, she always gave 110 percent.

"I wanted to set an example for my son," Fedosova explains, her eyes reflecting the determination that fueled her every step. "I wanted him to see that no dream is too big and no obstacle too great to overcome."

Fedosova, who was meritoriously promoted to private first class and is scheduled to go to Marine Combat Training at Camp Geiger on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, said she remains steadfast in her commitment to service, driven by a sense of duty and an unwavering belief in the promise of a brighter tomorrow.

“I want to be better than I was yesterday,” said Fedosova with a smile on her face. “I will give 110 percent at whatever I do, whether that is for the Marine Corps, my family, or those around me.”

In a world fraught with uncertainty and division, Fedosova’s journey to becoming the Honor Graduate of India Company at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, South Carolina, shows that this is just the beginning of her Marine Corps Career.

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