Marine follows dream, becomes drill instructor
By Cpl. Pedro Cardenas
| Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego | November 16, 2013
San Diego --
The United States is sometimes referred to as the land of opportunity.
For Sgt. Adi Luminare, drill instructor, Platoon 2107, Company E, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, migrating to the U.S. provided an opportunity to achieve his goals of becoming a drill instructor and having a better life.
“I always wanted to be a drill instructor ever since recruit training and once I was promoted to sergeant, I volunteered,” said Luminare. “In my mind if I became a drill instructor, I could help Marines with anything.”
He grew up in Bucharest, Romania in a poor family learning to appreciate the simpler things in life because of his tough childhood. His father worked several jobs to provide for the family while his mother stayed at home. Sometimes working multiple jobs wasn’t enough to support a family of eight.
“It was hard because food was scarce, you had to save and eat rations. Our desserts were soggy bread with sugar on it,” said 28-year-old Luminare. “We had to boil our water and then pour it on us in the tub to shower.”
Despite all the hardships, his family remained close and in 1991 the Luminare family’s luck changed. His cousins who lived in the U.S. entered and registered his family in a special sponsorship lottery. If chosen, all expenses are paid by the lottery for those members to move permanently to the U.S. The Luminare family was selected.
“I was only seven but I remember my parents were jumping for joy,” said Luminare. “People in Romania only dream of America.”
Luminare remembered looking at all the signs in the airport and not knowing what any of it meant when he first arrived Feb. 14, 1991. People asked questions and his family used signs to communicate.
Luminare had never attended school, but shortly after his arrival, he was placed in the second grade. He used phonics to learn English and adapted quickly to the American way of life.
After high school, he moved to North Carolina and started his own granite countertops business. He met some Marines at church and liked the way they presented themselves. Luminare decided to enlist in the Marine Corps.
“I started talking with the Marines and it was the dress blue uniform that got me,” said Luminare. “I didn’t even think about the other branches.”
Luminare shipped off to recruit training Sept. 22, 2008. Once in recruit training, Luminare was impressed with the drill instructors. The demeanor and their knowledge about the Marine Corps enticed him to aspire and become one of the best himself.
He worked hard after recruit training in order to be promoted quickly. He wanted to apply to drill instructor school as soon as possible.
While deployed to Afghanistan in 2011, three years after he enlisted, he was selected to be meritoriously promoted to the rank of sergeant. He was promoted on March 2, 2012, making him eligible for drill instructor duty. Immediately after his promotion, he volunteered to achieve one of his life goals.
“I followed my dream, my plan and I made it. I did what I set my goal to,” said Luminare.
As a drill instructor, Luminare ensures his recruits learn to be the best their abilities pushing them to their limits.
“He is passionate about training recruits and genuinely cares,” said Staff Sgt. Eric Flores, senior drill instructor, a Palmdale, Calif., native. “He is very demanding and expects the best from the recruits he is training.”
According to Luminare, he will make the Marine Corps his career. He wants to pass on to the next generation of Marines his personal experiences, to lead by example and never give up.
“I’m going to teach them to have morals and values,” said Luminare. “Most importantly the lesson is that your family is always there to get through the tough times.”