Master Gunnery Sgt. James Hunter, the Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 40 maintenance chief, stands with his newly promoted son, Cpl. Nathan Hunter, a 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Forward) embarkation clerk at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan, Sept. 1,
2011. Photo by USMC Cpl. Justin M. Boling
CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan (MCN - 9/6/2011) - Each fall, parents
watch with pride as their sons and daughters attend their first day
of school, or take on new responsibilities as they head to college.
This fall in Afghanistan, one father was able to watch his
son assume a new level of responsibility as a U.S. Marine when he
became of the Corps' noncommissioned officers.
Nathan Hunter, an embarkation clerk with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing
(Forward), was promoted to his current rank in Afghanistan, on Sept.
1, fate allowed his father and mentor, Master Gunnery Sgt. James
Hunter, to be present and to pin new corporal chevrons on his son.
“I always wanted to follow in my father and older brother's
footsteps and be a Marine,” said Nathan, who calls New Bern, N.C.,
home. “It meant a lot to have my father present when I was
According to the master gunnery sergeant, he
always knew that his sons would grow up to be Marines. Even when
they were very young, James said, Nathan and Mitchell would run and
physically train with their father.
Nathan has been deployed
to Camp Leatherneck for the past seven months in support of the air
combat element for the NATO International Security Assistance Force
in southwestern Afghanistan. In July, James deployed to serve with
Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 40 as head of the squadron's
“I think having a family member
present makes a deployment a little bit easier,” said James,
originally from West Palm Beach, Fla. “Anytime that I miss my family
I can always call or email him and we try to eat meals together and
enjoy each other's company.”
Though away from their homes, the deployment brought the father and
son geographically closer. With James working at Marine Corps Air
Station Beaufort, S.C and Nathan being stationed at Marine Corps Air
Station Cherry Point, N.C., the two did not regularly spend time
Although separated, Nathan can always rely on his father
to be a trusted source of help when needed.
has always been there to give me advice to set me on the
right path,” Nathan said. “My father's experience has helped
me a great deal both personally and professionally.”
Nathan's promotion also ironically falls right in line
with a similar milestone in his father's career.
“Twenty-seven years ago next month, I pinned on corporal
while deployed in the western Pacific,” James said. “So it
is really fitting to have my son pick up at this point in
both of our lives.
“When I look at him I see a
reflection of my youth and the wonderment of beginning a new
path in life,” James added with a smile.
becoming a Marine Corps noncommissioned officer means a new
role in the Marine Corps.
“Although I am still
technically the junior Marine in my work section the rank
still means higher expectation from my leadership as well as
many new responsibilities,” Nathan said.
are promoted, they bring with them new ideas while still
enforcing long-held high standards. These new ideas and
leaders are what allow the Corps to maintain its status as
America's force in readiness.
“I have been in for 29
years and I have watched the Marines Corps change,” James
said. “The Marines of today are very smart and technically
savvy as well as being quick studies.
“My son is a
member of this new generation of Marines with a very bright
future ahead of him.”
By USMC Cpl. Justin M. Boling, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (Fwd)br>
Marine Corps News
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