On Nov. 10, the United States Marine Corps celebrates its 248th birthday. In honor of the milestone, UofL’s Center for Military-Connected Students introduces us to Marine Corps veteran Ralph Gonzalez, a UofL junior who hopes to be an English teacher.
Miami, Florida, native Ralph Gonzalez is a junior communications major who served in the United States Marine Corps from 2017 to 2021, attaining the rank of sergeant. When he left the Marine Corps, he was an artillery section chief responsible for 12 marines and over $2-million worth of equipment.
His service in the Marine Corps started with completing bootcamp at Parris Island, South Carolina. After bootcamp, he was assigned to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for his artillery training. His fleet assignment was to 29 Palms, California, and Camp Pendleton. While there he deployed twice with the U.S. Navy, going to Japan, Australia, Thailand and the Republic of South Korea. He was awarded a Navy Marine Corps Achievement medal which he “cherishes to this day,” he said.
Gonzalez chose the University of Louisville for what he called its “sense of community,” adding he felt comfortable in the city and at the university. He is a big fan of Cardinals athletics.
Gonzalez said he appreciates the many people at UofL who have helped him on and off campus, citing the many great professors from the English department. He also singled out Carissa Gentry and Kristen Roy from the Center for Military Connected-Students.
After completing his undergraduate degree, Gonzalez intends to pursue a graduate degree. His goal is to become an English teacher.