Cree waited nervously, checking his clock one more time. Staff Sergeant Duran was late, something that could be expected, but still added to the already mounting excitement of the occasion.
“Have you tried calling his office again?”
“Yes Sir, they said he was en route about five minutes ago,” Cree affirmed to his enlisting officer.
Suddenly, from around the corner of the building, Cree heard someone running. He peaked around to see Duran sprinting the length of the building towards the formation.
“Sorry, I went to the wrong floor,” Duran said breathlessly.
“It’s okay, let’s do this.”
“DETAIL! ATTEN-HUT!” The Staff Sergeant in front of the Technology Management Branch Marines directed. Every Marine, Cree included stood at attention as Master Sergeant Corral took command of the formation.
“Good Evening Sir, the Marines are ready for the reenlistment,” Master Sergeant told Major Lawing with a sharp salute.
“Very well, carry on.”
Master Sergeant stepped around the Major to stand to the left and abreast of the enlisting officer, before shouting, “MARINE TO REENLIST, CENTER! MARCH!”
Cree pivoted on center, and on command stepped out to stand in front of the Major. With a sharp salute, he reported in. Then, Staff Sergeant Duran began reading.
“HONORABLE DISCHARGE FROM THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT STAFF SERGEANT CREE DALENE WAS HONORABLY DISCHARGED FROM THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS ON THE 12TH DAY OF DECEMBER 2019. THIS CERTIFICATE IS AWARDED AS A TESTIMONIAL OF HONEST AND FAITHFUL SERVICE.”
“Would you like to say anything as a civilian?” Major Lawing asked Cree earnestly.
“No Sir, I’d only regret it later,” Cree said with a wink and a smile. Major Lawing struggled to suppress a grin, then allowed a short laugh to escape. Once everyone regained their composure, the Major nodded at Duran.
“BE IT KNOWN THAT, STAFF SERGEANT CREE DALENE HAS BEEN ACCEPTED FOR REENLISTMENT IN THE UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS. YOUR REENLISTMENT REFLECTS UNCOMMON DEVOTION AND LOYALTY TO YOUR COUNTRY AND TO THE CORPS. IT IS THIS SPECIAL KIND OF COMMITMENT THAT MAKES THE CORPS UNIQUE AND RESPECTED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. THE CORPS IS PROUD TO HAVE YOU IN ITS RANKS. PRESENTED THIS 12TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2019”
“Raise your right hand,” Major Lawing said, waiting until Cree complied. The two of them then repeated the oath of enlistment together…