“Enlisting in the Marine Corps out of high school saved my life. I was a broken kid with no direction. It taught me strength, courage, and mental fortitude.”
My Marine Corps career was very different than most. Graduating from recruit training at Parris Island, I moved on to the School of Infantry before being assigned to my first duty station at Camp LeJeune, 1st BN 2nd MARDIV as an 0311 (rifleman.) I rose up the ranks quick & within a couple months I was promoted to Team Leader. Our first workup was for deployment to Okinawa, Japan on Camp Schwab. Camp Schwab is where I fell in love with fitness. Outside of my Marine Corps duties, I immersed myself in anything fitness & nutrition.
When I returned to Camp LeJeune from deployment I got screened by the Marine Corps Body Bearers based in Washington, DC. The next thing I knew I had orders being cut for me to check-in to Marine Barracks, Washington, DC – 8th & I. I was back on the bottom here but again rose quickly to become the Body Bearer section leader. This was my most humbling duty, lying to rest our fallen brothers & sisters out of Arlington National Cemetery. As my time here was coming to an end I was screened for another special duty at the Pentagon to become Personal Security for the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), General Peter Pace.
I was now on the VCJCS’s security detail. I had to go through several months of specialized training before I reported in. I stayed with General Pace until my end of active service was completed. We traveled the world & visited some of the most beautiful places & some of the most dangerous places. Leaving this assignment was a tough one but it had to be done. Instead of reenlisting, I began thinking long term so I took a contract job in Baghdad.
Once I arrived in Baghdad things were very dangerous. I was a team leader for the “then classified” identity management mission which consisted of biometrics & forensics work; it’s a side of the war not many people know about. I was on the base access program for two years where I rose from team leader to Deputy Operations Manager to Operations Manager then to Country Manager overseeing the entire project. After 2 years I was moved over to another contract working more directly with the Iraqi’s.
Here on the Iraqi AFIS project I spent 2 more years assisting the Government of Iraq stand up their own biometrics capabilities. I was also the liaison between the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the US Government, and the Government of Iraq. After 2 years I decided it was time to come home. The country was becoming too dangerous, I had too many close calls, & I needed to find a life outside of the military & a combat environment. I came home a different person & I had to redefine myself.
Although I had a plan in place when I arrived back home to the US in New Orleans, things didn’t go as planned. I was struggling from post-traumatic stress, I couldn’t sleep, the job I had sought out was no longer available, and I struggled my way through until it was too late & I lost everything. I was sleeping out of my car, I had to file for bankruptcy. My life was a mess. Instead of giving up & going back overseas I decided to turn to the one thing I loved: fitness. It wasn’t long before I fell right in the middle of the film industry training some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
And the rest is history…
In 2000, Aaron was screened and selected for the Marine Corps World Famous Body Bearers where he spent nearly 4 years conducting funerals out of Arlington National Cemetery, and again, he traveled the world assisting in joint service events. In 2003, Aaron was screened and selected to become personal security for the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (VCJCS), General Peter Pace; here he spent the remainder of his Marine Corps career before he ended his active service in 2005.
As Aaron was departing from the Marine Corps, he was offered a contractor position in Iraq assisting in the biometric operations mission; Aaron returned to Iraq as a contractor contributing to the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) for 4 years. In 2009, Aaron’s contract came to an end which is when he finally made the decision to return to the United States in New Orleans.
Throughout his Marine Corps and contractor career, Aaron’s passion has been bodybuilding, health & fitness. No matter what job Aaron held or where he was in the world, everyone knew him for his passion in fitness.
Upon returning to the United States after years in Iraq, Aaron jumped knee deep into fitness to fulfill his dream to compete as a bodybuilder and coach athletes. In the process, he found himself in an entirely new and amazing journey. Aaron now offers comprehensive fitness training to celebrities and athletes around the world.
Aaron has tapped into his unique experience in the military and fitness world to fuel his acting career. With roles like the Refugee Terminator in ‘Terminator: Genisys’, House in ‘American Heist’ and himself as a celebrity trainer on ‘Khloe Kardashian’s Revenge Body’, Aaron has taken his functional training and military background to new heights and is still climbing. Whether it’s training the cast, offering military advise, or sharing the big screen, he is sought after for not only his performance capabilities but also his knowledge of the craft.