Chris Walker was born and raised in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He joined the Marine Corps in 2007, serving eight years on active duty. He stayed with the Reserves, and still serves as a JTAC (Joint Terminal ) with an infantry unit.
These days, he is working as an actor and stunt man in New York City, with appearances on Orange is the New Black, Erase, Ray Donovan, Blue Bloods, Godfather of Harlem, and several other shows. He also runs a small veteran-themed shirt company called BootSOC.com which makes funny shirts relating to the military.
Here’s how Chris answered our 11 Questions!
1. WHY DID YOU JOIN THE MILITARY? I grew up hearing about my grandfathers serving during World War II and my uncle in Vietnam. I just always loved everything military and was the kid who never stopped playing GI Joe until the day I decided to join.
2. DID YOU HAVE VETERANS IN YOUR FAMILY? My paternal Grandfather was a LtJG in the Coast Guard during WWII and took part in the Normandy invasion force. My other Grandfather infiltrated Nazi groups in America. His son, my uncle, was a sniper in Vietnam for MACV-SOG.
3. WHERE DID YOU ENLIST? I signed my contract with my OSO at Recruiting Station Columbia, SC during my Junior year of college.
4. WHAT WAS YOUR PRIMARY RATING? I was an 0802 Field Artillery Officer and then became an 8023 Navy Parachutist and a 8002 Joint Terminal Attack Controller.
5. DO YOU REMEMBER THE NAME OF YOUR FIRST DRILL INSTRUCTOR? My first Drill Instructors were SSgt Walters, SSgt McCloud, and GySgt Castillon. Walters was the most terrifying. He was tall and lanky and had a voice that could scare the devil himself. He seemed to be able to appear out of nowhere and a mean streak a mile wide.
6. WHAT WAS THE WORST THING YOU ATE IN THE MILITARY? In Afghanistan, we were at the end of the supply lines and no good stuff would make it out to us. We had MRE Spaghetti for every meal for about thirty days. The flies from the burn pit would land on all our food and we all got horrible stomach issues. Not a disgusting food but easily the worst food situation I’ve had.
7. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST MEMORABLE DAY IN THE MILITARY? Definitely the first time I dropped a bomb on enemies in combat. Afterwards my hands shook for a long time.
8. IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO THE DAY YOU GOT OUT OF THE MILITARY, WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF? You don’t really want to get out. You just need a break from deploying.
9. DID YOU HAVE ANY VETERAN MENTORS? I had many mentors and people I’ve looked up to. I learned to be a better officer from my Staff NCOs. I learned to be a better Marine from my friends. I learned to be a better man from them all.
10. WHAT WAS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT AS A VETERAN? I’m proud every time I run into someone who was with me during the worst days we had in Afghanistan. I ran into a guy just this last week who was with another battalion but in the same bad fight we had in a village South of Sangin.
11. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE/LEAST FAVORITE MILITARY THEMED MOVIES? I love The Rock even though it is so cheesy and I can’t stand The Hurt Locker. Old WWII movies are also super cool.