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U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Rendy Catete, the training noncommissioned officer in charge with the Environmental Support Team, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific, conducts an environmental safety audit on Camp Foster, Okinawa, Japan, Sep. 28, 2021. Catete was originally born in the U.S. and moved to Monterrey, Mexico, with his family where he lived for the first three years of his life. His parents, seeking better paying jobs and higher education for their four children, immigrated to Dallas, Texas, and began their family’s journey to citizenship. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alex Fairchild)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Alex Fairchild

Faces of MCIPAC: Cpl. Rendy Catete - Family takes care of family

1 Oct 2021 | Lance Cpl. Alex Fairchild Marine Corps Installations Pacific

The Marine Corps is made up of individuals who come from all walks of life. Every Marine has their own story as to why they chose to serve. Some had families who sacrificed everything to give them an opportunity to prosper.

Cpl. Rendy Catete was originally born in the U.S. and moved to Monterrey, Mexico, with his family where he lived for the first three years of his life. His parents, seeking better paying jobs and higher education for their four children, immigrated to Dallas, Texas, and began their family’s journey to citizenship.

“Growing up, my parents were always working and we were always moving,” said Catete. “They got to the U.S. with no money, and barely spoke English. My father was a carpenter and handyman, and would sit waiting at construction sites, hoping to be picked up to work for the day, while my mother worked long hours at fast food restaurants. We moved often because rent was too expensive.”

Catete explained that the biggest sacrifice his parents made was the choice to leave Mexico, knowing they couldn’t return to see their family until they became fully naturalized in the U.S. His mother, for the first time in 18 years, was recently able to travel back to Mexico and see her family.

Hoping to support his family and build a successful future, Catete joined the Marine Corps in 2017, and was first stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, as a heavy equipment operator. In December of 2020, he became stationed on Camp Foster and now serves as the training noncommissioned officer in charge of the Environmental Support Team, Headquarters and Support Battalion, Marine Corps Installations Pacific.

“From day one, I have been highly impressed by the way Cpl. Catete does things,” said Staff Sgt. Francisco Barron, the staff noncommissioned officer in charge with the EST, H&S Bn., MCIPAC. “When I arrived in Okinawa, he was running the entire show with his Marines at the EST, teaching them new skills and ensuring he passes on his extensive knowledge.”

Although Catete plans to conclude his active duty status in December, his knowledge and skills are passed down to every Marine he works with. Barron, a native of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, explained that no matter the job, Catete steps up and uses his experience to mentor younger Marines and ensure their success.

One of the responsibilities the EST ensures is that all units aboard Okinawa are properly storing and disposing of any hazardous waste or flammable material they have. On a regular day, Catete conducts safety inspections across Okinawa, and provides coaching and guidance on how to properly store hazardous waste and flammable material.

“Working with the EST has given me a lot of opportunities to use the experience I gained from earlier in my enlistment as well as before the Marine Corps,” said Catete. “I just want to help as many people as I can. The fact we are on call 24/7 creates a strong family bond between all of us and reminds me of home.”

When his active duty status ends, Catete plans to move back to Texas to help his parents with the recent opening of their authentic Mexican restaurant. He also plans to use the opportunities presented by the military to study in college.

“There isn’t a single day where I am not celebrating my heritage,” said Catete. “The most important thing I’ve learned from my heritage is that family takes care of family. We are all in this together.”


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