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Ex-Michigan linebacker Noah Furbush is now in the Marine Corps

Former University of Michigan linebacker Noah Furbush, 24, stands as his parents pin second lieutenant rank insignia on his collar at Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va., November 16, 2019.

HALEY MATHERS/U.S. MARINE CORPS

By ANDREW KAHN | MLive.com, Walker, Mich. (TNS) | Published: November 20, 2019

WALKER, Mich. (Tribune News Service) — Last year, Noah Furbush said he planned on trading his Michigan football jersey for a different uniform. And on Saturday, while his former teammates were beating Michigan State, Furbush realized his goal of becoming a member of the United States Marine Corps.

Furbush, 24, was commissioned as a second lieutenant after completing the 10-week Officer Candidates Schools in Quantico, Virginia.

He is scheduled to stay in Quantico and begin training at The Basic School, a six-month program designed to prepare newly-commissioned officers for the duties, responsibilities, and war-fighting skills required of a rifle platoon commander.

Furbush, a Kenton, Ohio native, was a Wolverine from 2014 to 2018, appearing in 45 games at linebacker, including seven starts, and on special teams. The aerospace engineering major was a four-time academic All-Big Ten honoree and was named the football team's top student-athlete as a redshirt senior last year, when he was earning his master's in space engineering.

Furbush has a pilot’s license, partnered with NASA and Boeing for special projects, and co-authored a study on the sustainability of flying cars. He wanted to be a fighter pilot.

Football-related injuries may have prevented him from pursuing that path. Instead, he is on track for a ground-based assignment. A Marine Corps media relations staffer said Furbush was physically impressive during his time at Officer Candidate School. The training is described as intense — little sleep, constant movement — with rigorous screening and evaluation. There were 441 men and women who arrived at Quantico for training in September; Furbush was among the 336 who made it through.

In a video from Saturday's ceremony, published by the Marine Corps, Furbush said each day during the 10-week training reminded him of the week during his final year at Michigan in which he had to write a 50-page proposal for his master's program while simultaneously preparing for a football game.

"Every day was a physical and mental grind," he said.

He said he had "quite the transition" from being a football player to being an officer candidate. "I had to lose 30 pounds, I had to cut off all of my hair, I had to start running farther than 40 yards at a time."

Graduating, Furbush said, “is a tremendous sense of accomplishment.”

In another video from Saturday’s ceremony, Furbush’s platoon commander, Gunnery Sgt. Ryan Allen, spoke about Furbush’s qualities.

"Furbush is an outstanding team player," Allen said. "He definitely possesses that exemplary character. He's got the attitude of always putting the team first and then making sure he takes care of himself as a secondary measure.

“From the very beginning of training, he was willing to step forward and despite small setbacks or failures in his own performance, he continued to push hard and drive and work himself to ensure that he was able to bring the team up to the same passing standards.”

Furbush’s mom, a former Air Force nurse, and dad pinned the second lieutenant rank insignia on his collar during the ceremony.

At The Basic School, Furbush will learn his military occupational specialty (his job, essentially) and begin training for that at any number of military bases across the country. Furbush will have a say in what he wants to do, but ultimately it will be decided for him based on his aptitude. The training could be a few weeks or as long as a year depending on the specialty. Upon completion, he'll be sent to any Marine Corps unit in the world.

"I see those fatigues — they just look sharp to me," Furbush told MLive in September of 2018. "I see people in uniform and I look up to them and the sacrifices they make for this country, all the amazing things they get to do and get to be a part of."

Furbush has now joined that group.

©2019 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.
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Noah Furbush, 24, celebrates with his fellow Marines following a graduation ceremony at Marine Corps Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Va., November 16, 2019.
HALEY MATHERS/U.S. MARINE CORPS

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