Serving on the Home Front;;Local Marine spotlighted for accomplishments

19 Feb 2004 | Sgt. Stephen L. Traynham

Since 1801, Marines have served and protected Marine Barracks 8th & I, Washington, D.C.  These members of the few and the proud come from all parts of the country; some from as far away as Alaska and as close to the Barracks as Maryland and Virginia.  Such is the case of. Richard C. McQuillen, now a Lance Corporal stationed here, who is a native of Frederick, Md. 

"Mac," as he is called, graduated from Middletown High School in May of 1998.  He then furthered his education at the University of Maryland College Park.  During his continuation of higher learning, was approached with the idea of life as a United States Marine.

It was a member of the McQuillen clan that presented the idea, his younger brother Ryan, also a Lance Corporal in the Marines. He spoke of the benefits of being a Marine and how the title "Marine," can open doors that otherwise would be closed. 

"It sounded like a plan to get me on the right track," said McQuillen.  "A good change in atmosphere; plus benefits."

McQuillen, stepped onto the yellow footprints of Parris Island in April of 2003.  He then continued his training at the School of Infantry at Camp Lejune, N.C., later moving on to Security Force Training Battalion.  McQuillen graduated from Security Force Training in December 2003, with the highest cumulative average in the class, which deemed him the Honor Graduate, a title that carried with it a meritorious promotion. 

"I just focused on school," said McQuillen. "I took in as much knowledge as I could and I was constantly studying.  I wanted to do my best, but I had no idea that I would be the Honor Grad or be promoted."

Lance Cpl. McQuillen will continue to hone his proficiency and his knowledge involving security issues that not only affect the barracks but the entire Washington Metropolitan area, including his hometown.  McQuillen's journey as a Marine has just begun.  He begins not only serving the "Oldest Post," in the Corps, but also the Nation's Capitol, his home.