Updated: May 20, 2019
If you’re one of those people who complain about the millennial generation and their supposed shortcomings about this, or that, whatever it is. Allow me to respond to those complaints by quoting NFL quarterback Aaron Rodgers. “Five Letters: R-E-L-A-X.” Because people like Jabe Danielson walk among us, and for quite a while, he’s been determined to get the most out of life and do something worthwhile.
Jabe grew up north of Atlanta, Georgia in the city of Alpharetta. In 2014, he graduated from Cambridge High School in Milton, GA (Go Bears!) and immediately after, enlisted into the United States Marine Corps where he was assigned to an infantry unit in North Carolina.
What I found most interesting about Jabe’s decision to join the Corps, was that it was based on his desire to go against the grain of what his peers were planning for themselves. According to Jabe, the majority of his classmates were either headed for college, or nowhere at all. But Jabe wanted more. Apparently somewhere in his youth, Danielson adopted the values of personal accountability and responsibility to self. He wanted to be in control of his future, and he wanted his life to have meaning. Jabe felt he could get all that and more, as a Marine.
When I asked him what he enjoyed most about the Marines, he spoke highly of the camaraderie that exists within it. He was most impressed in the ability for the Marines to take people from different parts of the country and diverse backgrounds, and mold them into an effective and efficient entity.
Jabe’s wish to be part of something bigger than himself was met when he was
deployed aboard the USS San Antonio, then later the USS Whidbey Island, as a member of patrol maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea. In his time while deployed, his unit would be considered the “tip of the spear” in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations.
As it would turn out, however, the appeal of the Marine Corps would fade, and Jabe decided he was ready for a change. He was ready to pursue his college education. So, in 2018, he separated from the service, enrolled into the College of Charleston, and has been hard at work ever since.
At this point, Danielson does not have a specific degree plan, but he’s fairly certain he wants to pursue something in the field of federal law enforcement. Whether that means becoming an agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, or a member of Central Intelligence, is still unknown. What Jabe does know, however, is that once he decides which goal he will pursue, he will not quit, until he’s achieved it. Because that’s the kind of person he is. Motivated, focused, resolute, determined, and undeterred.
It was at this point I asked Jabe if at any point in his young and eventful life, he felt insecure, or concerned about the kind of life choices he was making? Because as he told his story, his attitude was quite nonchalant, and matter of fact, so I wondered where that kind of confidence came from.
He explained that he had his reservations, but they were short lived. He believes in being decisive and taking action. Then he offered advice to anyone who might be in the in the process of pursuing their own goals in life. He said, “If there is something that you want, and it seems impossible, more than likely, you’re psyching yourself out, because nothing is impossible. Anything is possible.” He went on to say, “You will probably be faced with criticism. Take it with a grain of salt. Critics will always be there, but your goals are yours alone. Life is full of risks, but you must go after what you want most…you must…TAKE THE SHOT!”
As one would expect, his advice comes from a place of personal experience. When he wanted to join the Marines, he had peers try and talk him out of it. But he joined anyway. And when he decided to separate from the military, of course, fellow Marines tried to convince him to stay active. But he separated anyway, because it was better for him and what he wanted to accomplish for himself.
I have to admit, after sitting with Jabe Danielson for only a short time and learning his story; where he’s been and where he sees himself in the future; and hearing the determination in his voice to be successful, I feel pretty good about the future. It’s apparent to me that Jabe’s going to do great things, and I look forward to seeing how it all plays out. Personally, after talking with Jabe, it’s hard not to be inspired. I wish him the best of luck. Even though, I’m pretty sure he won’t need it.