When Pvt. Samantha M. Grove graduated with Golf Company, Second Recruit Training Battalion, at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Friday, she earned a unique distinction for her family.
She is the fourth member of the Grove family from Texas to march across the parade deck and earn the title of Marine in the last year.
Blake, Brandon and Bryce Grove, all lance corporals, preceded Samantha Grove in becoming Marines, and each also graduated from MCRD San Diego.
Samantha Grove also is part of a major change at MCRD. Female recruits began training on the West Coast in 2021, mirroring the integrated training that has been conducted at MCRD Parris Island in South Carolina.
“It’s very exciting and it’s very special that not only my three brothers graduated here, but
that I did as well,” she said. “Not only was my family here to see me graduate, but I also graduated with my family because my platoon is my family, too.”
Being the only sister with three brothers in the family can be difficult, but it was a great way
for Grove to prepare for the trials of boot camp. She used lessons her brothers taught her both from growing up and having experienced boot camp themselves.
“They gave me some tips on what I needed to know, but they let the things that should be a
surprise when you’re going through boot camp surprise me,” she said.
Gunnery Sgt. David W. Cox, the Marine who recruited the Grove siblings, worked with them from Recruiting Substation Weatherford, Texas and noticed the “common path amongst the Grove siblings”
“You very rarely hear about even two siblings joining, much less an entire family of four,” he said.
Having four kids join the military has been a unique experience for Billy and Shannon Grove. They also saw that there might be sibling rivalry involved, too.
“Samantha wants to go to college,” Shannon Grove said. “Plus, she is very competitive and wanted to show her brothers that if they can do it she can do it better.”
Samantha Grove confirms it.
“I had to be better than my brothers,” she said. “If we were doing an obstacle course or
a CFT (combat fitness test) I was thinking, ‘Well, I have to beat their time’.”
Cox described Samantha Grove as “an extremely hard worker, physically fit, mentally fit, the whole nine yards,” before adding of her brothers, “they all are.”
Cox wasn’t just impressed by the Grove siblings, but by the family as a whole.
“They are hands down just amazing, phenomenal people that are supportive of their kids and
what they do to be successful,” he said.
How did the Groves celebrate the latest Marine in the family? In a rather wholesome way.
“We have traditions,” Shannon Grove said. “We plan to go to Cold Stone after graduation …because we have done that three other times now.”
Following graduation, PFC Grove will be granted a short leave before continuing on to
Camp Pendleton where she will complete Marine Combat training and then move on to her Marine Occupational Specialty School.