School and The Marine Corps
Strank attended the schools of Franklin Borough, Pennsylvania and graduated from high school in 1937. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, where he remained for 18 months, and then became a highway laborer for the state.
He enlisted in the regular Marine Corps for four years at Pittsburgh on October 6, 1939. He was assigned to the Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island where, after completing recruit training in December, Private Strank was transferred to Headquarters Company, Post Troops, at the same base. Transferred to Provisional Company W at Parris Island on January 17, 1941, Strank, now a Private First Class, sailed for Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, arriving on the 23rd. Strank was assigned to Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Brigade (on February 1, the 1st Marine Brigade was later redesignated the 1st Marine Division). On April 8, now assigned to Company K, he returned to the States and proceeded to MCRD Parris Island. In September, Strank moved with the division to New River, North Carolina. He was promoted to corporal on April 23, 1941, and was advanced to sergeant on January 26, 1942.
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