58 Marines Reenlist at Arlington on 78th Anniversary of Flag Raising At Iwo Jima

58 Marines Reenlist at Arlington on 78th Anniversary of Flag Raising At Iwo Jima

Recently, I wrote about the recruiting issues that the military services are encountering now. I focused on the issue as it relates to the United States Coast Guard but mentioned that the other services are having trouble meeting their quotas too. Only one of the services met its recruitment goals for last year -- the United States Marine Corps, but just by the skin of its teeth.

Today’s article is about the Marine Corps’ personnel overhaul program, which is the way that the Marine Corps is focusing on this issue. The Corps is focussing more on retention. They want to create experiences and incentives to retain the best Marines. Part of this effort is developing an early reenlistment program. This program is designed to allow Marines who are a few years into their first enlistment contracts to sign up early for four more years of service. The Corps is offering financial bonuses to those who choose to do so. It is not about the money though. It is about recognizing the talents of the best Marines. To qualify for this early reenlistment program, the Marines need to have positive recommendations from their commanding officers.

On February 23, 2023, the 78th anniversary of the flag raising on the summit of Mt. Suribachi during the bloody battle for Iwo Jima in 1945, 58 Marines took part in a reenlistment ceremony beneath the Marine Corps Monument sculpture at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony was led by Gen. Eric Smith, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps. He told the Marines during the ceremony, “You’re young. You could have done anything, but you decided to be a Marine.” After the ceremony, Gen. Smith huddled with the Marines and told the Marine Corps Times reporter, Irene Loewenson, “For me, that was fun. I’m fired up.”

One of the Marines who reenlisted at that event was Sgt. Daisy Swiney, 21, from Kennesaw, GA. She told the Marine Corps Times, “I enlisted in the Marine Corps to give myself a better future.” She went into it with the attitude to work hard and to be “the first one in and the last one out.” And her record speaks for itself. She started as a food service specialist but is currently a legal chief and national color bearer. Her job is to carry the American flag and call commands for the color guard for her unit, Combat Logistics Regiment 27, part of the Marine Logistics Group at Camp Lejeune. Her unit is part of the II Marine Expeditionary Force based out of Camp Lejeune.

Swiney will be heading to Drill Instructor School in July of 2024, which she has dreamed about doing. She says about being a Drill Instructor that “There’s just something about being a Marine, but making them is a whole other level.” When asked about what made her think about the Marine Corps, she told the Marine Corps Times that she was inspired by her naval science instructor in Junior ROTC in 9th grade. He was a retired Marine 1st Sgt. She keeps in touch with him, and he is very proud of her.

We wish Sgt. Daisy Swiney and the other 57 Marines who participated in last week’s Marine Corps early reenlistment program much growth in their professional skills and a great career in the Marine Corps. Bravo Zulu, Marines! Semper Fidelis!

Dan Doyle

Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site Blog.

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