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MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR – Lance Cpl. Michael Nigro, a flight planning clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, proudly displays his promotion warrant and attributes much of his success in the Marine Corps to his competitive spirit. Nigro helps organize games pitting his section against others here. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Austin Goacher) (Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Austin Goacher

Marine athlete takes competition to new level

16 Sep 2008 | Lance Cpl. Austin Goacher

The dictionary defines competition as the act of striving for an objective, but for one Marine here competition envelops every aspect of life.

Lance Cpl. Michael Nigro, a flight planning clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, has been participating in sports for most of his life and translates his on-field competitive streak to success off the field.

“I grew up watching sports every night,” said Nigro. “My dad always enjoyed the competitiveness of sports and I picked up on it too.”

During his school years, the 21-year-old used his competitive streak to participate in and excel at a variety of sports including football, basketball, wrestling and baseball.

Though Nigro played several sports, he found he enjoyed football the most.

“Football is one of the only sports where people hate to lose more than they actually enjoy winning,” said Nigro.

Nigro showed his competitive spirit as a leader on the team and earned “play of the year” during their quest for the championship.  

During the district-finals, he returned an interception for a touchdown with two minutes left in the game.

“That interception was probably the best feeling I’ve had playing sports,” said Nigro.

His on-field prowess led to his selection as a centerfielder for the all-national 15-and-under baseball team.

After graduation, his competitive spirit led Nigro to the Marine Corps recruiting office where he enlisted during the summer of 2006.

“Sports made me the competitive person I am today,” said Nigro. “They have always driven me to be the best at everything I do and that made me want to be a Marine.”

He always strives to do his best, explained Cpl. Eric Townsend, a flight planning dispatcher with H&HS.

“He feeds off of competition and doesn’t take defeat well,” said Townsend. “That helps make him be the best Marine he can be.”

Striving to be the best within his office has helped Nigro earn responsibilities normally reserved for the noncommissioned officers of his section.

“When there aren’t going to be any NCO’s around they know they can trust me to run the shop,” said Nigro. “They know that if I’m typing a paper, sending an email or sweeping the floor that I want to do it the best.”

Being the best doesn’t always mean doing things only for himself, explained Nigro.

“Sometimes to be the best you have to know when to help other people,” said Nigro, who has volunteered at events such as a children’s “boot camp.” “Helping out at activities such as summer camps goes along with being the best Marine you can and it really has a positive impact on the community.”

Currently, Nigro participates in the intramural basketball and softball leagues here. Later in the year he hopes to join the flag football league. After his time in the Corps, he hopes to play football at the University of Missouri.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing