Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., also known as “8th and I,” is the oldest active post in the Marine Corps. Our August 2022 NFM Salute features one of the fortunate few who served on that hallowed ground.

NFM Lending is pleased to honor Corporal Jason Walters, USMC, as the NFM Salute for August 2022.

Walters was raised by his father, an Army Veteran with the 101st Airborne Division during the Vietnam War. His father’s gentle strength inspired him to join the military, and he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1994.

Walters was first assigned to Company B at Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C., colloquially called “8th and I”. As the oldest active post in the Marines, it encompasses the Corps’ ceremonial units, including the U.S. Marine Band and U.S. Marine Drum and Bugle Corps. As a member of Company B, Walters took part in escorting dignitaries at the White House, marching in parades, and presiding over funerals at Arlington National Cemetery. Though Walters witnessed numerous military funerals during his service, each was solemn. “You can’t help but live in the gravity of what sacrifices were made, and that’s why it was such an honor to serve at the Marine Barracks,” he said. “We took this very personally and represented them and the Marine Corps to the highest level.”

Walters then joined Company A at Marine Barracks and trained to become part of the Silent Drill Platoon. For four and a half months, Walters practiced 14 hours every day in preparation to become one of 24 elite Silent Drill members. After he passed his training, he participated in drill demonstrations at sporting and other public events around the country and the world. In 1998, Walters left the Marines.

After leaving the military, Walters used his GI Bill to earn his bachelor’s degree from Radford University, graduating in 2002. In 2016, he found himself floundering: he was unemployed and homeless. “I remember laying in the back of the car at night, thinking about the day that I wasn’t there, the promises I’d make to myself, and what I was going to do and what I wasn’t going to do, and how I was never going to be out of the fight,” he recalled. Walters was given a chance to turn his situation around when his friend offered him a job in telecommunications. The opportunity changed his life, and in 2019, he took all the industry knowledge and passion he had developed to co-find a business of his own: Cloud Warriors.

Cloud Warriors is a technology consulting firm that trains and hires Veterans in transition. For three months, Veterans can gain valuable industry experience and earn their certifications, increasing their skill set for the civilian job market. Walters knows firsthand how difficult it can be for Veterans to find employment after service and wants to be a lifeline for those struggling. “There’s so many homeless Veterans, and it’s just because nobody gave them a chance.”

Walters lives in Richmond, VA, with his family.