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A Marine To The Core - LCPL Sean Alander
by U.S. Marine Corps Cpl. Alexis Sanchez
October 31, 2022

Walking through the halls of Belle Plaine High School, Sean R. Alander noticed one thing: a poster of a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant in his dress blue uniform and a quote that said, "The Few. The Proud. The Marines."

"Every time I went to work out, I'd stare at it head-on," said Alander. "After a while, it felt less like an advertisement and more like a dream. I wanted to be him."

Born and raised in the small town of Henderson, Minnesota, U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Sean R. Alander, now a radar technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron (H&HS), Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, turned that dream into a reality.

On December 18, 2020, two days before his birthday, Alander finally earned the title of U.S. Marine and is now MCAS New River's Go-Getter of the month.

October 18, 2022 - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Sean R. Alander, a radar technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, conducts a daily equipment check on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Alander, the recipient of this month’s MCAS New River Go-Getter award, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2020. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexis Sanchez.)
October 18, 2022 - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Sean R. Alander, a radar technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, conducts a daily equipment check on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Alander, the recipient of this month’s MCAS New River Go-Getter award, enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2020. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexis Sanchez.)

Alander takes great pride in what he has accomplished. He has made many around him proud, hearing words he never expected to hear from the one person he cares for most: his father.

"I've always seen my father as 'Stoick the Vast,' a Viking that fears nothing," said Alander. "And when I got here, he told me I had become his hero."

Hearing those words made Alander feel strange, yet gave him a new sense of pride and love for the Marine Corps.

"I'm doing things my father was never able to do," said Alander. "I have had opportunities that he hasn't, which I will never take for granted."

Upon arriving at MCAS New River, Alander has gone above and beyond what's been asked of him; whether training or revamping a whole program, he never hesitates to take on more responsibilities.

"Alander was a driving force in recreating our hazardous material (HAZMAT) program," said Staff Sgt. Angels Roman, a maintenance chief with H&HS. "During our most recent Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) inspection, the inspectors recognized Alander by name for his dedication and noteworthy performance as the assistant HAZMAT program coordinator."

During all this, Alander completed his level-one technician training while also maintaining his duties and responsibilities as a radar technician, proving to be a real asset to his section.

October 18, 2022 - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Sean R. Alander, a radar technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, conducts a maintenance check on the precision approach radar on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2020. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexis Sanchez.)
October 18, 2022 - U.S. Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Sean R. Alander, a radar technician with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, conducts a maintenance check on the precision approach radar on Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River in Jacksonville, North Carolina. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 2020. (Image created by USA Patriotism! from U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Alexis Sanchez.)

"It's very comforting for me as a staff noncommissioned officer to come in and see that I have a Marine like him," said Roman, "It makes me feel better as a leader to know that I have a good team."

Although Alander is far from home, he feels a sense of belonging and has found a new family within the Marine Corps.

"Here, we are like a family. We take care of each other but hold each other accountable," said Alander. "We'll bicker at times and celebrate on occasions, but we always keep the mission first."

According to Alander, it is important to know your Marines and look out for their welfare.

"It's not about the military occupational specialty (MOS)," said Alander, "It's about the Marines around me that make me want to keep going."

Alander continues to give 100 percent day in and day out, in all that he does. When asked about his plans for the future, he stated that he does not know what his future holds, but he does know he will not let any opportunity, big or small, pass him by.

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Minor editing without impacting facts.

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