Stuttering in the military: Steven explains what it's like to be a Marine who stutters

March 23, 2010
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Steven's story is one of stuttering severely and enduring, doing what you want to do in your life anyway, even if it is hard. It's about survival. After a rough time in school with his stuttering, Steven came to AIS. All he wanted to do was to be in the Marines. Now he is.

In April, we hope to connect with Steven for a video. In the meantime, I asked him a few questions for the blog. Here are his answers, slightly edited for clarity.

1. What has been your experience of being someone who stutters who is in the military?

My experience has been both bad and good. I have great support within my unit and they all look out for me, of course. Like any other job, you have your a**holes, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

2. What has been the most fulfilling part of being a Marine?

The most fulfilling part about being a Marine is being able to help out people halfway around the world. I enjoy helping people and serving my country.

3. What challenges have you faced?

The Marine Corps is a very macho environment. Any sign of weakness or disability, you are instantly made a target. I've been called names and mimicked, but that is nothing new to me; I take it as if it is nothing. Everyday is a challenge, but I accept the challenge and overcome it.

4. What advice would you give to younger guys wanting to be in the military who also stutter?

It's not easy stuttering and being in the military. The challenges you are going to face will sometimes feel unbearable, but if you get through, you will become a better person. Having confidence is a major plus; remember to keep your head up.


The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY, Atlanta, GA, and Minneapolis, MN, and services are also available Online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder.

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