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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany


Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
They went from Private to Lieutenant Colonel

By Sgt. Christina Lovett | | August 3, 2000

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Hard work, dedication and determination led to the recent promotions of three MCLB Marine officers to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Lt. Cols. Kenneth Brown, Benjamin Braden and Kent Morrison are prior enlisted Marines here. Brown, who was pinned April 1, plans, schedules and coordinates the workload distribution between the MCLB Albany Maintenance Center and the Barstow Maintenance Center as the workload division director of the Maintenance Directorate. He also acts as technical director of the Maintenance Directorate here. Most of our work is focused around the Maintenance Centers in support of depot level repair of Marine Corps equipment for the Fleet Marine Force, said Brown. Brown came into the Corps in May 1975 as an enlisted Marine. After obtaining the rank of staff sergeant, he became a warrant officer in February 1982. He was selected for first lieutenant under the Limited Duty Officer Program in 1985. In 1990, he was re-designated as an unrestricted officer. During my second enlistment, I learned about the warrant officer program, said Brown. I had already decided to make the Marine Corps a career, and I wanted to be able to make a larger contribution. I believed being an officer would expand my horizons, and give me a little more responsibility. Brown was accepted for the College Degree Program and enrolled in Central Michigan University where he attained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, graduating Cum Laude. I am a whole lot farther than I ever imagined, Brown confided. Life has just been too good. The biggest step for me (with being promoted) would be the opportunity for command, said Brown. Brown attributes much of his success to the Marine Corps in general and the opportunities he has been provided throughout his career. Education and professional training alone are not determining factors for success, said Brown. I have been fortunate to have good, challenging duty stations, and everything has gone so well for me. You need to constantly challenge yourself and take on more responsibility, Brown said. Marines in general should always strive to be in charge of whatever they do. I remember as a corporal, I always aggressively sought responsibility. If you do that, youll always do the right thing and youll do well. Never shy away from challenge, Brown advises. Braden, also a prior enlisted Marine, shares similar experiences and views with Brown. A native of New Mexico, Braden enlisted in the Marine Corps in June 1973. He served as an enlisted Marine for nine years, rising to the rank of gunnery sergeant by the time he was appointed a warrant officer in 1982 and was transferred to The Basic School in Quantico, Va. I wanted to make a difference in the job I was doing with my management skills and working with Marines, said Braden. Much like Brown, Braden credits the Marine Corps and Marines specifically, for his triumphs and successes. The one thing that I contribute my success to is taking care of Marines, Braden stated. If you take care of your Marines, they take care of you. Braden offers simple words of advice to young Marines in both the enlisted and officer ranks. The best thing you can offer a Marine is to be honest, he said. As long as you are working hard and making decisions in the best interest of your Marines and the Corps, there is no wrong answer. Braden will assume duties with Materiel Command Operations Section along with his promotion. Braden was previously the weapons system project manager in the Maintenance Directorate here. In that capacity, he supervised the major lines at the Maintenance Centers at MCLB Albany and Barstow, Calif. Major lines include the work done on the Light Armored Vehicle line and the Logistics Vehicle System line. Morrison will also assume duties with MatCom due to his promotion. He recently relinquished command of Headquarters Battalion here, after serving a two-year duty. Morrison, an Americus, Ga., native, enlisted the Marine Corps in 1974. He was discharged as a corporal in June 1977 to attend Georgia Southwestern University in Americus where he earned a bachelors degree in Commercial Art. In August of 1983, after graduating from Officer Candidate School in Quantico, Morrison was commissioned into the Marine Corps as a second lieutenant. After I finished college, I knew I wanted to be back in the Marine Corps, said Morrison. It was definitely the route I wanted to take. Much like Brown, Morrison also feels privileged and fortunate to be promoted to O-5. I am proud of myself and my ability to achieve all I have, said Morrison. It (attaining lieutenant colonel rank) is a goal I am proud to accomplish. Morrison, like the other two lieutenant colonels, attributes his successes and accomplishments to fellow Marines. He also offers advice to junior Marines who want to advance their careers. If you have plans and goals, they are attainable, he said. It takes time, hard work and dedication. Whatever you want to do in this world, you can do it. Your future is your decision. You can sit back and wait, or you can go for it, said Morrison. It was definitely good that all of us were prior enlisted, said Braden. It lets other Marines know, they can set their goals and work their way up. We worked our way up through the ranks and learned a lot.
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