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The Point

The Student News Site of Fitchburg State University

The Point

The Student News Site of Fitchburg State University

The Point

Corporal Kidder

Kidder sits on one knee in the bottom right corner with the Australia combined anti-armor team Red 3rd BN 7th Marines during an exercise called Predator run
Kidder sits on one knee in the bottom right corner with the Australia combined anti-armor team Red 3rd BN 7th Marines during an exercise called Predator run

Greg Kidder, a versatile individual, smoothly transitioned from college and football to excelling in lacrosse and serving in the United States Marine Corps. A 2019 graduate of Ayer-Shirley Regional High School, Greg is a decorated Marine with honors such as the National Defense Service Medal, two Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, a Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, and a Global War on Terrorism Medal. To be more specific Kidder was born for this, coming from a family of servicemen. Joe Kidder is the Uncle of Corporal Kidder, Joe Kidder was in the army post 9/11, and his grandfather Geroge Cote sergeant of the United States Marine Corps was deployed during the Vietnam War. Although these two American heroes are a big reason for Corporal Kidder to become one of the “few,” his story did not begin here.

Kidder joined Cub Scouts in 2006, progressed to become a Boy Scout in 2014, and achieved the prestigious “Eagle Scout” rank in 2018—a distinction held by only six percent of Boy Scouts since 1912, totaling two million in the United States. After Eagle Boy Scouts, Kidder, fueled by a patriotic fervor influenced by his dad and uncle, enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. William Kidder described the decision as amazing, expressing excitement and wishing every parent could feel the same. Three days post-high school graduation, Kidder, clad in a shirt and khakis, left for Parris Island. Excitement filled him as he boarded the plane from Logan Airport in Boston. Encountering a family friend, his best friend’s aunt Marie, brought unexpected comfort. Marie wished him luck, saying she’d pray for him—a reassuring signal from the universe that all would be well.

After the plane ride, Kidder faced reality with fellow Marine Corps hopefuls on a bus near the tense Parris Island bridge. Disembarking at 1 a.m., marked by iconic yellow footprints, Kidder called his father at 2 a.m., sharing his arrival and requesting no food shipments. Ending with love and patriotism, he promised to write soon.
Over the next thirteen weeks, Greg Kidder not only trained to be a Marine but fully immersed himself in the organization. He explained that the seemingly chaotic process is intentional—to break recruits down to rebuild them. Many recruits, unfamiliar with the fog of war environment, needed to be shaped and acclimated to this routine. The sense of camaraderie and brotherhood quickly developed as he trained with his platoon. Ultimately, Kidder achieved the rank of Corporal in the Marine Corps.

Infantry Training Battalion at Camp Geiger was the next stop for our hero, here is where Kidder learned the basics of becoming a rifleman, and this is also where he picked his Military Occupation Speciality, MOS 0352, which stands for Antitank Missile Gunner. It takes on the task of destroying any enemy tank or armed vehicle.
After a month of training as a 0352, Kidder joined “The Fleet” in Twin Palms, California, where he met his unit—the Third Battalion Seventh Marines, First Marine Division. Described as a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds, from Alaska natives to Florida fishermen, these people became his family away from home for the next four years, sharing a life focused on eating, sleeping, and training.

In November 2020, Kidder’s first deployment took him to Japan and Australia. In Japan, he underwent jungle warfare training reminiscent of the Vietnam War, connecting to the military legacy of his grandfather, George Cote. Despite a brief and unwelcoming stop in Japan, Australia provided a warmer reception, fostering mutual benefits during training. Kidder was stationed in Australia for five months, continuing the long-standing history between the Marine Corps and the country.

After deployment, Kidder served as Team Leader and vehicle commander, directing a Humvee team. His responsibilities involved coordinating air support, leading early morning preparations, and managing vehicle logistics for week-long convoy formations. Praised as a “good leader” by Corporal Johnson, Kidder navigated the stress and camaraderie in the field, viewing the discipline endured as a crucial step in his personal growth.
After Kidder’s service was finished, he was left unsatisfied with life as a civilian, after all those years in the Corps he needed some sense of brotherhood back again in his life, after he was honorably discharged in June of 2023 he decided to retake one of his first loves in life which was football.

William Kidder states “Greg was big on choices, he has always based his life on choices, I think he is a very developed critical thinker, even before his time in the corps he would always re-consider all of his options to take good decisions.”

Gabe DaCosta, a good high school friend, reached out to Kidder inviting him to play football for Fitchburg State University. Incredibly enough, Kidder’s dad is a graduate of Fitchburg State University; William Kidder played as a long snapper during his time as a Falcon.

Considering the offer, Kidder, aware of the impact of words, assessed his choices. Shifting from a Marine to a Civilian to a Collegiate Athlete presented challenges similar to the camaraderie he experienced in football. William Kidder highlighted the difficulties, particularly in earning trust from coaching staff, contrasting it with the life-and-death responsibilities he had in the Marines.

Undeterred, Kidder, known for his hard work and determination, persevered. Teammate PJ Norton described him as a great guy always willing to help, noting his passion for efficiency and positive spirit, which proves inspiring in many situations.

Norton added “Whether he is out there on the field or on the sidelines, he is always giving the team his best effort, he is a committed individual, he is not perfect, he commits mistakes but the beauty of him is that he always holds himself accountable and always makes up for it, it is a great example for some guys in the rooster that should aspire to be like him.”

On a personal level Greg Kidder is described as a great friend. Fellow Lacrosse teammate Jonah Costa “he is a fun guy to be around, he knows how to have a good time. I would describe him as a thrill seeker, he brings excitement into the room and I am glad to be able to call him my friend.”

It doesn’t matter during what part of your life you met Greg Kidder, you will always get the best out of him. Kidder is an American Hero not only for his time served but his help and attitude that he gives to his teammates, fellow marines and students at Fitchburg State University.

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About the Contributor
Jorge Merino
Jorge Merino, Staff Writer, Sports Editor

Is an Exercise Science Major at Fitchburg State University, currently a sophomore and a member of the 2022 Fitchburg Falcons football team. He enjoys watching professional and collegiate sports. He hopes to become a trainer in the near future, when Jorge is not at football practice or watching sports you can find him playing online video games like Call of Duty and Fortnite.

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