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HomeVideoShortest Marine on record says his height is his ‘greatest strength’

Shortest Marine on record says his height is his ‘greatest strength’

19-year-old Nathaniel LaPrade, at 4 feet 7 inches tall, is now the shortest ever recorded member of the U.S. military. A Green Beret, Richard Flaherty, clocked in at 4 feet 9 inches and served during the Vietnam War.

LaPrade said his height wasn’t a major factor in his own eyes, until he got to boot camp. In fact, unlike high school, where being the “short kid” had not mattered, in the military, he felt that he had “something to prove.”

“If you have a weakness and you know it’s your weakness, I can pretty much promise you that by the end of your time in the military, it will become one of your greatest strengths,” he said.

LaPrade finished 13 weeks of Marine Corps Recruit Training at Parris Island in South Carolina. That included hikes, obstacle courses and daily training. It ended with a 54-hour endurance test called the Crucible. He said he got through those difficult days with the help of his instructors who would tell him to “push a little harder and dig a little deeper.”

“And sure enough, I just do what the instructors tell me to do, and I got through it,” he said. “I’ll say, ‘I want to be like that guy.’ And so when he tells me to do something, it’s straight on the spot.”

This post was produced by Travis Daub, Casey Kuhn, Erica Hendry and Julia Griffin with additional footage supplied by DVIDS.

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