Elysa Acosta-Millan was inspired by her brother to join the armed forces. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in the weeks following 9/11, and Acosta-Millan saw the positive effect that military service had on his personality. That, combined with an increasing desire for change in her personal life, led Acosta-Millan to consider a career in the Corps.

“I just wanted to step outside my comfort zone,” she said.

Acosta-Millan spent more than seven years on active duty in the Marine Corps and now serves as a reservist working in public affairs. She is studying at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication on the campus of Arizona State University, and has also competed in beauty pageants, winning her first title in 2011.

Join us on this week’s episode of Borne the Battle as Acosta-Millan discusses her experiences in the service, including how she and her brother were both posted to the same duty station in Japan, the importance of being professional and why she decided to become a journalist. She also talks about taking advantage of Active Duty for Operational Support (ADOS), a program common to several branches of the military that allows reservists to serve in temporary postings while receiving all the benefits of of active-duty, including time accumulated toward retirement.

Acosta-Millan began working as a show host shortly before the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, which prevented her from conducting in-person interviews. Instead, she interviews subjects online, reaching out to them through email and social media. She invests a great deal of time and effort into researching and setting up each interview. At this stage of her career, in order to expand her portfolio, any expenses she incurs (wardrobe, editing, renting studio space, etc.) has to be paid for out of her own pocket – a subject she says is “just part of the job.” However, Elysa is determined reach her goals, both professionally and personally using the perseverance she learned in the military.


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