After serving his country in the United States Marine Corps for five years, ROTC Cadet Joel Rainey will graduate from Tarleton State University as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army Saturday morning.

Rainey is a 1998 Stephenville High School graduate and son of Randy and Joyce Rainey of Stephenville who chose to pursue a college career after serving as a U.S. embassy guard in Moscow and London for the Marine Corp.

I wanted to better my career and I knew thats what I had to do, Rainey said. I enjoy the military lifestyle. I like the rigid schedule and planned activities on a day to day basis.

Rainey is a cream of the crop cadet because he is ranked in the top 10 percent of almost 4,000 cadets nation-wide.

He is listed in Whos Who of American College and University students, a distinguished military graduate, a ROTC executive and operations officer, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, and he serves as Sigma Chi Sergeant at Arms and treasurer.

Rainey will begin his career in the Army as a platoon leader at Fort Hood for four years. After that assignment he will become a military intelligence officer and he hopes to serve in counter intelligence, he said.

Following the 9 a.m. commencement exercises at the Tarleton Memorial Stadium Rainey will be formally commissioned during an ROTC ceremony at the Fine Arts Center at 10:30 a.m.

Rainey will be pinned by his first platoon leader in the Marines, a fellow he met named Brian Middleton while stationed at Camp Pendleton, California, who just happens to be from Mineral Wells.

Im really excited - Im ready to move on and do something different, he said. Its been a great time at Tarleton and Ive learned a lot.