Marine Corps Family Exudes Sacrifice, Perseverance
by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Levi Guerra
November 9, 2021
Serving as a U.S. Marine is a challenging experience requiring sacrifice, perseverance, strength, and teamwork to be successful.
Serving as dual-military Marines with a family in demanding Fleet Marine Force assignments overseas can be an even greater, more complex test ... one that Lt. Col. Christie Everett and Lt. Col. Brian Everett have passed with flying colors.
The inspirational lives of these two Marines is marked by many unique highlights, yet filled with repetition in the application of unrelenting determination.
“Chesty Puller could not have thought of a more terrific story,” said Maj. Gen. James Bierman, Commanding General of 3d Marine Division, during a dual promotion ceremony for the Everetts on October 5, 2021 on Okinawa.
Lt. Col. Brian Everett and Lt. Col. Christie Everett celebrate with “Team Everett” following their promotion ceremonies on October 5, 2021. Both prior-enlisted Marines hailing from the Midwest, Christie and Brian rose through the ranks based on a combination of work ethic, intelligence, and resolve. The dual-military couple have managed highly successful careers in the Marine Corps while raising a strong family. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alyssa Chuluda)
Not only were Christie and Brian both promoted to lieutenant colonel on the same day, they were both slated for command on the highly competitive battalion command screening board.
These results do not happen coincidentally.
Both prior-enlisted Marines hailing from the Midwest – Christie from Indianapolis and Brian from Alton, Ill.; they rose through the ranks based on a combination of work ethic, intelligence, and resolve. Both credit their upbringing with shaping who they are today.
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” is a saying their family – “Team Everett” – has embraced, according to Christie.
“Expect nothing and work for everything,” said Brian. “Be proud of what you do in life and find your purpose.”
Brian enlisted in 1989 and is the last Marine still on active duty who served aboard a battleship as part of the Marine Detachment, USS MISSOURI (BB-63). He served a demanding tour as a Marine Corps drill instructor and climbed through the enlisted ranks to gunnery sergeant before earning a commission as a second lieutenant.
Christie – an exceptional athlete and student – had the background and tools to qualify for any military occupational specialty. However, her character as a team player shined through early in 1998 as she decided to enlist in the Marine Corps on an open contract. Her gritty personality was fitting for assignment as a generator mechanic where her leadership skills were recognized and honed as a platoon sergeant, before heading off to college and Officer Candidate School.
In 2006, the paths of Brian and Christie crossed for the first time at The Basic School in Quantico, Va., where both continued to shine. Christie earned honors as the high shooter in her company of approximately 300 students while Brian took the award for the top prior-enlisted Marine, or “Mustang,” in the class.
From there, both received orders to Camp Lejeune where their relationship developed. Within the year, both would be simultaneously deployed to Iraq in different units supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom, where their lives would change forever.
“Brian asked me to marry him in Iraq,” said Christie. “He proposed to me on top of my Command Post – not the way I envisioned it.”
An engagement within a combat zone is more than fitting for this warrior family.
After returning from the deployment and getting married, Team Everett returned to their roots where Marines are made – the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at Parris Island. Both served as series commanders and company commanders aboard the Depot, an extremely demanding tour of duty that requires around-the-clock effort seven days a week.
“Do not feel that one of you must give up your military career in order to have a marriage and family,” said Brian while offering encouragement for other dual-military families. “At times, one will be the main effort at work or home while the other is the supporting effort.”
The challenges of the drill field were accentuated for the dual-military couple caring for two young daughters, but the Everetts persisted and thrived.
“We have been blessed with a tremendous support network in our Marine Corps family,” said Christie. “They are our lifeline. People that have shared meals, helped care for our children, and inconvenienced their own families to help us.”
Christie rounded out her tour on the drill field excelling as the first female executive officer for a male recruit training battalion. The Everetts’ outstanding performances were recognized with their selections to attend Expeditionary Warfare School in 2012 with follow-on assignments at Marine Forces Special Operations Command.
After they obtained the rank of Major, Brian and Christie were once again selected for resident professional military education, this time at the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College in 2016 followed by highly sought after assignments in the National Capital Region.
Christie now serves as the Assistant Chief of Staff, G-1 for 3d Marine Division while Brian is the Executive Officer for Combat Logistics Regiment 3. Both are based in Okinawa, Japan. In 2022, Team Everett will return to Camp Lejeune where they are both slated for battalion command.
When asked for the best piece of advice she has for other Marines, Christie said, “Define your own version of success … growth and comfort do not always coexist. There were so many opportunities I didn’t think I could attain, but I went for it anyway and people helped me succeed.”
Neither Brian nor Christie would change a thing a about their story.
“We have received more from the institution than what we could ever return,” said Brian. “It is not an easy life, but the return both personally and professionally is beyond measure.”
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