The inspiring story of Marine Corps 1st Lt. Zerbin Singleton


Zerbin Singleton is a former slotback for Navy. He graduated from the academy 2008, and is now a Marine first lieutenant. Soon, he will receive his pilot’s wings, and he ultimately is aiming to fulfill his lifelong goal of becoming an astronaut.

That’s enough to make him a special story. But Singleton’s journey before entering the military is difficult as any you’ll ever hear, making what he’s achieved in his life all the more impressive.

Singleton grew up without his father. His mom had drug problems, and after one of her arrests, Singleton was moved from his home in Alaska to live with relatives in Georgia. Through all that, he managed to excel in school and athletics and get accepted to the Naval Academy. But injuries sustained in  car accident caused by a drunk driver put his USNA dreams on hold. Singleton’s father, with whom Zerbin finally managed to form a relationship with as a teenager, committed suicide not long after.

Watch this CNN clip, and hear Singleton tell his incredible story in his own words:


For more background, check out this 2007 story from


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  1. How do I get in touch with this Marine? I have a story myself that I would like to share with him. I have had to put my Marine Corps aspirations on hold because of a car accident, and have been working my a** off in order to get back in. I grew up with some learning disabilities that I overcame as a child, and experienced abuse from school mates through out Middle School and High School. I overcame these and graduated and now goto George Mason University. I am about to graduate and am working to reenlist back into the Marine Corps. I originally enlisted in 2007 in the reserves and was going to goto school for a year then goto Parris Island and ITB afterwards. But in February of 2008 I got into a car accident which nearly took my life. I suffered 2 broken femurs, 4 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, torn aorta, multiple lacerations all over my body, slight nerve damage in my right calf, severe concussion, and got over 70 staples in my head. I also lost 45 lbs, and was sedated for a week. I returned to the DEP in early 2009 and have been participating and recovering ever since. I have put my weight back on, got all metal out of my body, have full dexterity, have all of my doctors notes,and have full strength back except in my right calf which has progressed slower while the nerves regrew. It is just a matter of passing the run time and I should be good to go. I would really like to talk to this Marine about his experience and share mine with him.

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