Curtis was born in 1984 and grew up near Arlington, Virginia. He grew in a military family and had an appreciation and interest in military service from a young age. Curtis originally joined the Marine Corps with the intention of working as an aviation crew chief but then switched to the infantry occupation field.
After Parris Island and training at Camp Geiger, earning the 0311 MOS, Curtis joined Kilo 3/6 in 2003. Curtis first deployed to Afghanistan, operating in Asadabad and Gardaz, in 2004. Upon his return, he was selected to join Scout/Sniper Platoon, working as a radio operator, and deployed to Al Qaim, Iraq. Curtis again returned to Kilo Company, this time as a squad leader. He deployed near Husaybah, Iraq for a final deployment as a line platoon squad leader.
Much like all Marines, Curtis’ aspirations changed over time and were molded by his experiences as an infantryman. He initially intended to continue to serve, earn a commission and retire. As time went on, Curtis had other ideas. During his time in sniper platoon, he found himself growing more and more interested in entrepreneurship and owning his own business. With only two week left remaining on his contract, he elected to leave the Marine Corps and enter private military contracting. Curtis returned to Afghanistan, working for Blackwater and other PMCs. He operated as a member of personal security teams and trained and supervised Afghans in fixed site security.
Curtis’ work as a contractor had a clearly defined goal, raising capital to start his own business. Over the years he had developed an interest in functional fitness and was particularly interested in Crossfit. Following his career in security contracting, Curtis’ started his entrepreneurial journey. Crossfit Axon, in Charlotte, NC opened for business in June of 2014. Curtis now enjoys spending time with his family, competing in functional fitness teams sports leagues, continuing his education and acquiring addition certifications in his professional and expanding his business.
The life of an infantryman can mold a person’s mindset for the rest of their life, greatly increasing their success following active duty. Serving as a grunt teaches valuable skills, while they may not be directly transferable to many civilian job fields, are still applicable in the private sector. Curtis credits much of his success to the mental toughness and problem solving skills that he developed as a Marine NCO. He is no stranger to hardship and developed his leadership skills on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Curtis emphasizes the transition to civilian life is easier with a defined goal, or at least a direction. Things are not just going to “work out” themselves and Marines should find their passion and pursue a career that relates to that interest. He points out that many Marines head home following their service, a place of natural comfort and familiarity. Curtis explains that this isn’t always the best course of action for job seekers and that there are opportunities all over the country, and the world, that may be seized by those willing to relocate.