Sagebiel MarinesAfter my sister Ann had joined the Marines, her recruiter set his sights upon me.  Having already tried to join the Army, but being turned down by their recruiters for having bursitis I developed while running track in high school and college, I told him I could not join up.  Undeterred, he got me a medical waiver for my bursitis and the chorea.  I enlisted in the Marines in the summer of 1999. My youngest sister would soon follow suit: there are now 3 Sergeants Sagebiel.

I decided to join the reserves, because I had already completed 2 years of college and wanted to make good on my commitment to myself to complete college.  While working my way through school in the Reserves, and while working as a federal security police officer 9/11 happened.  It would only be a short time later until I found myself on active duty, training for the impending war.

Before our first major predeployment exercise, I stood in a formation with nearly 300 other Marines for muster, or what you might call “roll call”.  Having not understood Gunny Washington’s attempts to pronounce my name as Corporal Sagebiel (Saw-guh-beel), I never rogered up.  On the third “Snagaboo” or other some such abomination, and without another Marine replying “Here Gunny!” I assumed it must have been me he was calling.  When I finally replied he snarled at me, wondering why I would waste his time and all these other Marines’ time waiting on me to roger up.  I told him I didn’t understand the name he called. He asked how to pronounce it, and after the third correction he retorted “@#$% you Corporal!”.  My platoon Sergeant, SSGT Marino then piped up and said “Call him Sage, its short for “Sage-beel”.  He, of course, got the pronunciation wrong, too.  But that was the day that I was born as Sage, and the name has stuck ever since. Somehow I transcended rank, too.

The magic: Had I never signed those enlistment papers, there would never be such a name.