Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with William Nathan Noble, January 25, 2013

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries

 

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00:00:00 - Childhood and high school years

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Partial Transcript: Alright Nathan. So it's been a while, um, but we're gonna start from the beginning.

Segment Synopsis: Nathan Noble talks about growing up in Kentucky and discusses whether his family was a military family. He talks about his experiences in high school, focusing on sports and how he felt about the events of September 11, 2001.

Keywords: Anger; Childhood; High school; Lexington (Ky.); Meaning; Military branches; Military influence; Patriotic; Pro-military; Senior year; Shock; Versailles (Ky.)

Subjects: Families.; School sports.; September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001.; Woodford County (Ky.)

00:07:50 - Enlisting in the Marine Corps

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Partial Transcript: And so how quickly did that process--how, how quickly was it in motion that your--did you enlist right afterwards or did you wait til your senior year?

Segment Synopsis: Noble discusses his enlistment process and why he chose the Marine Corps. He talks about why he chose to enlist instead of going to college or continuing to play sports.

Keywords: Accidents; College; Enlisting; Recruiters; Scholarships; Soccer; Sports; Wars

Subjects: United States--Armed Forces--Recruiting, enlistment, etc; United States. Marine Corps--Infantry

00:14:42 - Boot camp

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Partial Transcript: So talk to me about boot camp. Paint a picture of what it's like to go to boot camp.

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about his boot camp experiences and his surprise that it was more mentally challenging than physically challenging. He talks about how his experiences playing sports influenced his military training.

Keywords: Boot camp; Leadership; Memorable; Mental challenges; Physical fitness; Sports; Tough

Subjects: United States. Marine Corps--Military life

00:19:16 - School of Infantry

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Partial Transcript: And so tell me about what your next step was and, you know, your occupation.

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about his experiences in the School of Infantry at Camp Geiger. He talks about the difficulty of the physical fitness training and hikes.

Keywords: Basics; Camp Geiger; Hikes; Marine Corps School of Infantry; Occupations; Physical fitness

Subjects: United States. Marine Corps--Infantry

GPS: Camp Geiger (Jacksonville, North Carolina)
Map Coordinates: 34.732937, -77.4543
00:23:28 - Deployment with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit

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Partial Transcript: And so tell me about this fleet process.

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about his deployment process, being assigned to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, and being sent from Hawaii to Okinawa. He talks about their original mission and how they became involved with the invasion in Iraq.

Keywords: "Cutting grid squares"; 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines; Combat; Deployments; Hawaii; Invasion of Iraq; Missions; Okinawa; Reactions; Unit Deployment Program (UDP)

Subjects: Iraq War, 2003-2011.; United States. Marine Corps--Infantry

00:31:29 - Experiences in combat in Iraq

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Partial Transcript: And so let's fast forward, boots-on-ground. What was your first mission like?

Segment Synopsis: Noble discusses advice he received about how to react during a firefight and talks about how he actually reacted during combat. He discusses what it was like to discharge his weapon in combat. He talks about losing friends during the war and the bonds formed between soldiers.

Keywords: Accountable; Automatic actions; Best friends; Bonds; Closeness; Combat; Firefights; Firing weapon; First mission; Injuries; Killed; Losing friends; Practice; Reactions; Slow motion; Support

Subjects: Baghdad (Iraq); Iraq War, 2003-2011.; United States. Marine Corps--Infantry

00:42:26 - Deployment in Afghanistan and assignment to Camp Blessing

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Partial Transcript: So let's, let's fast forward and go to, um, your next deployment.

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about being deployed to Afghanistan and his acclimation period at Bagram Airbase. He talks about being assigned to Camp Blessing, the most forward deployed U.S. base. He discusses the dangers of complacency while deployed and how soldiers must mature quickly.

Keywords: 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines; Acclimation periods; Altitude; Asadabad (Afghanistan); Bagram Airfield; Camp Blessing (Afghanistan); Complacency; Corporals; Forward deployed units; Leaders; Maturity; Motivation; Patrols; Responsibility

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001-; Afghanistan.; United States. Marine Corps--Infantry

00:53:43 - Driving in Afghanistan

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Partial Transcript: And talking about driving, what was it like to drive on the roads in Afghanistan?

Segment Synopsis: Noble discusses how often his unit drove while in Afghanistan and what the roads were like. He talks about a road called "IED Alley" and discusses how many people he knew who were injured by IEDs.

Keywords: "IED Alley"; Asadabad (Afghanistan); Camp Blessing (Afghanistan); Driving; Humvees; IED threats; Roads; Vehicles

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001-; Afghanistan.; Improvised explosive devices; United States. Marine Corps--Infantry

00:56:44 - Deployment at the Haditha Dam

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Partial Transcript: So, you did a third tour.

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about his third tour in the city of Haditha in Iraq. He talks about the differences between his three deployments and the differences between Haditha Dam and other posts.

Keywords: 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines; Al Asad Airbase (Iraq); Amenities; Bay of Haditha; Changes; Combat posts; Haditha (Iraq); Independent; India Company; Left seat/right seat rides; Squad leaders; Tours of duty

Subjects: Iraq War, 2003-2011.; United States. Marine Corps--Infantry

GPS: Haditha Dam (Iraq)
Map Coordinates: 34.206944, 42.355
01:06:26 - Leaving the military

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Partial Transcript: When you left Iraq, uh, tell me about your, your, um--the process of, of getting out of the military.

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about his reasons for deciding not to reenlist. He talks about whether he thought about going to college when he left the military and discusses working for his family's hay business.

Keywords: Cancer; Family businesses; Home; Infantry marines; Mothers; Reenlisting; Schools; Tired; Working

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Iraq War, 2003-2011--Veterans.

01:12:57 - Feeling a disconnect between others' values and his own

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Partial Transcript: After first couple weeks, after the first month, life set in.

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about experiences he had while working for the family business which illuminated the differences between the values and character he had seen during his time in the military and how people operated outside of the military.

Keywords: Assumptions; Character; Disconnect; Integrity; Teamwork; Values; Working together

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Iraq War, 2003-2011--Veterans.

01:17:32 - Attending Bluegrass Community and Technical College

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Partial Transcript: So talk to me about your next steps. Did you go to school?

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about working as a defense contractor after leaving his job with the family business. He talks about deciding to go to college, his time at EKU, and his decision to transfer to UK and BCTC. He talks about his experiences in the classroom at BCTC among nontraditional students.

Keywords: Classes; Colleges; Defense contractors; Eastern Kentucky University (EKU); Home; Life experiences; Nontraditional students; Perspectives; University of Kentucky (UK); Washington (D.C.)

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Bluegrass Community and Technical College; Iraq War, 2003-2011--Veterans.; Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky.

01:22:26 - Experiences at the University of Kentucky

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Partial Transcript: And so tell me about your next, your next step.

Segment Synopsis: Noble talks about transferring to UK and how it differed from his time at BCTC. He gives his opinion on the larger class sizes and how he would prefer classes to be run. He talks about how he differs from typical college students and how he feels about them. He discusses how his military experience affected him as a student.

Keywords: Larger classes; Learning; Life experiences; Military experience; Mindsets; Smaller classes; Typical college students

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; Iraq War, 2003-2011--Veterans.; University of Kentucky; Veterans--Education (Higher)--Kentucky.

01:29:02 - How being an assistant soccer coach led to becoming a football kicker

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Partial Transcript: S, so let's look, look back--looking back, uh, ten years from now you were playing soccer and now we look in 2012, 2013 you've been an assistant soccer coach at Georgetown College.

Segment Synopsis: Noble discusses his experiences as an assistant soccer coach at Georgetown College and how his military experience has influenced his coaching. He talks about how he began kicking a football and beginning his training with a kicking coach.

Keywords: Assistant soccer coaches; Football; Impact; Kicking; Kicking coaches; Lead by example; Military experience; Respect; Techniques; Training

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; College sports.; Football players.; Georgetown College (Georgetown, Ky.); Iraq War, 2003-2011--Veterans.; Soccer.

01:36:41 - Sources of motivation / goals for the future

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Partial Transcript: Is there anything that you do or don't do that you take out on the field with you or leave on the sidelines?

Segment Synopsis: Noble discusses the things that motivate him on the football field and in life. He talks about whether he feels pressure on the football field. He talks about his plans for the future. He discusses why he is proud of his military service. The interview is concluded.

Keywords: Aggression; Anger; Defending; Fun; Future; Goals; Hardships; Military service; Motivation; Pressure; Proud; University of Wyoming

Subjects: Afghan War, 2001- --Veterans.; College sports.; Football players.; Iraq War, 2003-2011--Veterans.