Photo Information

Connor Anteau holds up pictures of his dramatic weight loss transformation after giving his oath of service August 25, 2016 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Antea is a Gibraltar, Michigan native who lost nearly 60 pounds to join the United States Marine Corps. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. J. R. Heins/ Released)

Photo by Sgt. Joshua Richard Heins

Michigan native overcomes obstacle to become Marine Officer

29 Sep 2016 | Sgt. J. R. Heins 4th Marine Corps District

How much would you sacrifice to meet your goals and ambitions? This past year, a college student from Gibraltar, Michigan has sought out to accomplish his dreams – and he has changed his life.

Connor Anteau, a 20-year-old sophomore at Eastern Michigan University has felt a connection to the United States Armed Services from a very young age.

“My mother started out enlisted in the Airforce,” said Anteau. “I think that is where it might have begun.”

According to Anteau, while still in high school, he visited all the military branches with the hopes of enlisting.

There are five branches of the armed forces including the Air Force, Navy, Army, Coast Guard, and Marine Corps.

“First I walked into the Navy office,” he said. “It just wasn’t for me. Then I checked out my mom’s old branch, and I knew instantly that wasn’t for me either. That left me with the Army and Marines.”

After careful consideration, the brotherhood of the Marines is what stood out to him, he said. Growing up playing hockey, he was able to form close bonds with his teammates. He understood why the Marines put such emphasis on training and trusting each other.

The problem Anteau was facing was that he weighed in at 210 pounds, significantly beyond the maximum weight standards of 160 pounds for his 5 feet, 4 inch frame.

One of the many standards for Marines and those wishing to become Marines is based on bodyweight. It is the strictest out of all the branches. If an applicant doesn’t meet those standards, they won’t be able to earn the title of United States Marine.

“I knew it was something that I needed to change” he said.

During his freshmen year at Eastern Michigan University, Anteau began taking steps to change his life. He started running, weight training and dieting on his own, slowly working toward a weight that would make him eligible to enlist. 

According to Anteau, during his time in college and after many conversations with his family, he decided the best way for him to serve his country was to not enlist, but to commission as an officer.

Commissioned officers differ from enlisted Marines in their roles and responsibilities. Marine officers are responsible for the leadership of enlisted Marines and managing their respective offices within a unit. In order to commission, an individual must complete a four-year degree level of education.

Nearly halfway through the school year, the opportunity appeared. The Officer Selection Station Ann Arbor, the Marines responsible for locating and recruiting qualified officer candidates, were on his campus.

“We were showcasing the Marine Corps Flight Orientation Program,” said Gunnery Sgt. Dominic Freda, the Officer Selection Assistant for the OSS. “Anteau approached us and showed a lot of interest.”

According to Freda, physical fitness and weight loss were Anteau’s major concerns but with the right type of motivation, it was an obtainable goal.

“I was about 196 when I talked to them after about a year of training solo,” Anteau said. “Today I’m 154 pounds and run nearly a perfect score on my physical fitness test.”

To run a perfect Physical Fitness test in the Marines, males must conduct 20 dead hang pull ups, complete 100 sit-ups within two minutes and run three miles in 18 minutes or less.

Recruiting Station Detroit’s newest officer candidate shredded 56 pounds to begin his journey to become a United States Marine Officer.

“As a recruiter, we can’t qualify the unqualified,” said Freda. “However, if an individual is not at their required weight, we will give it our all to help them reach it. Anteau gives everything he has every day to ensure his dream becomes reality.”

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4th Marine Corps District