Weightlifter prepares to join Marines


Weightlifting is a sport that takes dedication and intense training to master, especially in the USA weightlifting program at the USOEC. Justin Brimhall, a graduating mathematics major, will use this focus in a new way when he joins the United States Marine Corps (USMC) after graduating.

Brimhall said he’s been accepted into the USMC Officer Candidate School (OCS), and wants to be a pilot, because he’s always had a fascination with airplanes and air shows.

“I’d like to fly an F-18 Hornet. My dad was in the Air Force, so I lived on bases a lot when I was growing up,” he said. “I’ve seen some of the tests they put you through to get ready for flying. The training is pretty rigorous, so it’s always good to have a no fear attitude,” he said.

Brimhall said that usually, he simply tells people he wants to be a Marine, and not a Marine pilot, because even if he is not selected for the pilot training, he will take any other job given to him in stride.

“In the Marines it doesn’t matter what job you do. Everybody has a really strong sense of camaraderie, singularity and purpose. I would do any job that would be beneficial to the organization,” he said.

Brimhall also aspires to one day get his master’s degree, get married and have kids.

Brimhall placed second at the 2009 National Collegiate Weightlifting Championships from April 17-19. He competed in the 77kg weight class, which is about 169 pounds.

Weightlifting has helped Brimhall develop as a person, showing him the kind of attitude that helps people lead successful lives.

“It’s been a challenge to be able to go day in and day out throwing hundreds of pounds of weight up, and to be able to get through the most grueling workout takes a certain amount of dedication and pride in yourself. I think weightlifting has definitely helped me out in all other respects. If I can make it through the program here I think I could do just about anything,” he said.

Brimhall attributes much of his weightlifting success to his collegiate coach.

“I wouldn’t have ever been able to make it to this level if I didn’t have the complete dedication and unwavering support from my coach, Andy Tysz,” he said.

Andy Tysz, head weightlifting coach for the USA weightlifting program said Brimhall is a hard worker who can get the job done.

“The Marines couldn’t have picked a better guy. He will go and go, and keep going until you ask him to stop. He’s not hot headed; he’s cool, calm sensible minded, prudent and honest. He sets his sights on something, he wants to do it and he gets after it and gets it done. That’s going to pay off huge dividends in his military career,” Tysz said.

Tysz said when Brimhall first told him about joining the armed forces, the coach was worried Brimhall would not reach his full potential.

“I told him not to join as a grunt because his talents are so far beyond and developed that they would be wasted on activities that wouldn’t benefit his growth as a person. OCS is a win-win situation for him as he gets to utilize his talents and do something he’s passionate about,” he said.

Tysz also said he believes Brimhall will succeed in whatever he does because of his never-quit attitude.

“I know he’ll be successful in his USMC career,” Tysz said. “Beyond that, if he decides after a period of time he wants to do something else, I’m sure he’ll be successful in that too because he’s so driven. He’s a friendly and honest person and I appreciate that and he definitely shows these qualities on a daily basis.”