“Semper Fidelis.” This is the Marine Corps motto, which is Latin for “Always Faithful.” It symbolizes the Marines’ commitment to those they fight alongside, as well as those they fight for. For three TFS alumni, their early bond in middle school brought them all into the trenches of the Marines where they are currently serving.
While Austin Snyder and Cody Snyder are brothers, they became friends with Cody Close during their time as students and lacrosse teammates at TFS. The Snyders’ father was a Marine for 29 years, and his service and commitment to the Marines made an impact on their lives early on. Spending a lot of time with the Snyders, Cody Close had a front row seat to Marine Corps culture and mission, and this helped confirm his interest in that branch of service.
Austin, the oldest of the Snyder brothers, has been in the Marines the longest. He attended TFS for his middle school years, and then Wakefield High School and Leesville Road High School where he played lacrosse. After graduating from N.C. State University with a degree in agriculture business management and attending officer candidate school over the previous summer, he was commissioned into the Marines on May 11, 2018 as a second lieutenant. He then attended basic school in Quantico, Virginia and Military Occupational School in Oklahoma. It was there that Austin confirmed his desire to be an artillery officer. He then served three years at Twentynine Palms in California, where he held two deployments (in Japan and then Thailand and Fuji). Capt. Snyder is now stationed closer to home at Camp LeJeune in North Carolina where he serves as Firepower Control Team Leader, and he is in the 2d Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company.
Cody Snyder, Austin’s younger brother, attended both TFS (3rd through 8th grades) and Leesville Road High School before graduating from East Carolina University in 2020 with a degree in business management. Similar to Austin, Cody completed his officer candidate school program during the summers before he graduated. He was commissioned on May 31, 2020 in Quantico, Virginia. He served an in-country deployment at Fort Pickett, Virginia where they screened and evaluated Afghan refugees and provided them food, medical clearance, and cold weather clothing. 1st Lt Snyder is currently a Scout Sniper Platoon Commander, Weapons Company, 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines also stationed at Camp Lejeune. In February, Cody will be deployed for six months to Okinawa, Japan and then will travel to Korea and Fuji.
Cody Close also attended TFS for his 3rd through 8th grade years. He then went on to Leesville Road High School where he played lacrosse with Austin and Cody, and he graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2021 with a Doctor of Pharmacy. He then worked at a life sciences strategy consulting firm as an associate consultant before deciding to join the Marines. Cody recently graduated from Officer Candidates School and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in August 2022. 2nd Lt Cody Close is currently attending the Basic Officers Course in Quantico, Virginia.
When asked why they wanted to join the Marines, the men shared these answers: Austin Snyder, “I believe everyone should do some sort of service to their community or their country at some point in their life. My dad’s time as a Marine, as well as my desire to serve others, was the root of my reasons to join the Marines.” Cody Snyder, “Growing up with my dad in the Marines, I knew it was something I always wanted to do. I also knew I needed to get a college degree before I joined the Marine Corps.” Cody Close, “I have always been very purpose-driven with a desire to serve something bigger than myself. This initially led me to pursue a career in healthcare, however I had always been thinking about military service from a young age as well. Growing up with the Snyder's is what put the Marine Corps at the forefront of my mind when deciding between the different branches, and the Marine Corps' culture and mission is what helped finalize my decision.”
The three men credit TFS for uniting their friendship and laying a foundation in their lives. “Growing up,” says Cody Snyder, “faith was always part of our family. TFS set the foundation for my faith, which helped pull me through some challenging times during Marine training.” Cody Close mentioned that “TFS provided a great community that enabled significant personal growth and lasting connections.”
Austin, Cody, and Cody spent a few years only seeing each other once or twice a year, but they kept in touch and stayed united through the Marine Corps. The Snyder brothers are now both stationed at Camp LeJeune.
For their fellow TFS students in school now, they share the following words of wisdom:
Austin Snyder: “Do what you love, and get into an industry that you enjoy doing what you love each day. You’ll put more of your heart into it and you’ll actually change that community because you love it.”
Cody Snyder: “Stay the course and trust in God because you will get where you want to.”
Cody Close: “My advice would be to challenge yourself both in the classroom and beyond it, whether that's on a sports field or in your community serving in some capacity. Discover what you are passionate about and then relentlessly pursue it!”