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Graven Brothers Join Marines Same Time
by U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Grace J. Kindred
December 28, 2020

After graduating from Piedra High School, Farmington, New Mexico, in 2019, Pfc. Graven, 19, joined the United States Marine Corps ... but not before giving his older brother a call.

Pfc. Graven called his older brother, Lance Cpl. Graven, 21, who was attending college at New Mexico Military Institute to tell him the news. Pfc. Graven told his brother he would wait for him to join, but his offer was declined at first.

“Don’t bet on it,” said LCpl. Graven, “I told him it was really cool he was going to go do that.”

December 18, 2020 - Pfc. Daniel Graven (left) and Lance Cpl. Stephen Graven (right), Marines of Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, stand outside of their squadbay with Lance Cpl. Manny, Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego, mascot at MCRD. The Gravens graduated recruit training as a squad leader and the Company Honorman. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Grace J. Kindred)
December 18, 2020 - Pfc. Daniel Graven (left) and Lance Cpl. Stephen Graven (right), Marines of Golf Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, stand outside of their squadbay with Lance Cpl. Manny, Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego, mascot at MCRD. The Gravens graduated recruit training as a squad leader and the Company Honorman. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Grace J. Kindred)

However, after a call from their mother, he decided to join his brother. “I felt inspired, and I called Daniel right after that phone call with my mom and I told him ‘let’s do it,’” said LCpl. Graven.

“I was literally on my way to the recruiters,” said Pfc. Graven. After LCpl. Graven called him, he agreed to wait for his older brother to enlist.

The Graven brothers met their recruiter together, and joined the Marine Corps using the buddy program. By using the buddy program, Pfc. and LCpl. Graven shipped out to Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), San Diego on the same day, and ended up in the same platoon.

LCpl. Graven became the Company Honorman, earning the rank of E-3. While acting as the platoon guide, Pfc. Graven acted as a squad leader, assisting his brother as a leader.

Although LCpl. Graven was recognized as the Marine with the most outstanding performance throughout recruit training, he’s most proud of his younger brother. “I’ve just been so proud of him,” said LCpl. Graven.

Although the brothers trained at MCRD together, the hardest part of recruit training was being away from family. Coming from a family with 11 other siblings, they’re used to having family around, and working together. “All of our siblings are close,” said LCpl. Graven.

Before the Marines, the Graven brothers grew up helping their father with landscaping projects, and worked together at a Subway. This gave the Graven brothers an advantage in recruit training ... They already knew how they worked together.

“We’ve always been constantly working together,” said LCpl. Graven.

The Gravens will continue to work together through the Infantry Training Battalion (ITB) at Camp Pendleton.

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