Tacoma Council Member Returns With New Perspective From Marine Training

Feb 13, 2014

Anders Ibsen is back in his seat on the Tacoma City Council after returning early from officer training in the Marine Corps Reserves.  

Ibsen, 27, was originally expected to be gone until November of this year but said that he was determined medically unfit to continue training. In an interview with KUOW, Ibsen described the grueling training regimen where the “tempo and intensity never ends.”

“I would say anecdotally that the majority of people who get sent home, get sent home for medical reasons,” Ibsen said. “They just kind of break down, or they get so sick that they can’t continue training.”

Ibsen spent about three weeks in training. Cold temperatures and snowstorms stop nothing for the candidates, Ibsen said. They kept taking courses outside, marching with 90 pounds of gear, running and doing other physical exercises to groom the potential future Marines.

He said that while he was given a recommendation to try again, the experience has made him more aware of his physical breaking points, and that he had no plans to return to Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia.

“I think that given the responsibilities that I have here and the fact that I made my attempt and had a great experience – I think that it’s probably best for me to focus on what I’m doing right here,” Ibsen said.

Civilian life, Ibsen said, will include his legislative and district items, his work in real estate appraisal, as well as other perks. “I’ve got a warm [bed], I’ve  got food whenever I want it, I don’t have to take someone with me to the bathroom – it’s great!” Ibsen said. “It certainly gives you perspective.”

But despite days of early mornings, demanding expectations and forfeiture of privacy, Ibsen said Marine training was an unforgettable experience. “There are no hard feelings. Obviously, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t complete the training,” he said. “I met some absolutely wonderful people. My appreciation for the armed forces and the people who are going to be leading it are all the deeper.”

Produced for the Web by Kara McDermott.