MCI names 2005 graduate of the year

24 Apr 2006 | Staff Sgt. Will Price

Support of Family and Friends the Key to Success

Cpl. Gage Rindt’s family and friends have known about Rindt’s drive to excel for a long time — but now the Marine’s loved ones have a brand new reason to be proud. Rindt has been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal as the 2005 Marine Corps Institute Graduate of the Year, adding further luster to a career marked by achievements as numerous as they are diverse.

In a ceremony held April 24 at the historic Centerwalk of Marine Barracks, Washington, General Robert Magnus, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, presented Cpl. Rindt with his medal in front of an audience of Marines from the Barracks and Rindt’s duty station, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. His family and friends were also on hand, and Rindt had nothing but gratitude for their unwavering support.

“From the time I was a kid, my parents have always been proud of me, no matter what,” said Rindt, a 20-year-old Westminster, Md., native.  “Their encouragement has always made me strive to want to do even better.”

Rindt told the crowd he had one special source of inspiration. “I especially want thank my high school sweetheart, Naomi,” Rindt told the crowd during the award ceremony.  “She always pushed me to complete just one more MCI.  If I was doing two, she would ask me, ‘Why not three?’”

Lt. Col. Nicholas Klaus, MCI Deputy Director, commended Rindt. “It’s not just the number of MCIs a Marine does that bestows this honor,” Klaus, said, “it is about how the knowledge gained is used to enhance ones’ career.”

Contributing to Rindt’s selection as Graduate of the Year was his completion of 30 MCI courses within a two-year period, and much more. Rindt is a volunteer with “Christmas in April,” a house-building program, as well as Marine charity “Toys for Tots.” He also attends high school ROTC drill competitions, tutors local children of the military, and works a second job as a culinary specialist.

Since stepping on the yellow footprints of Parris Island in July of 2003 as a private, Rindt, an administrative clerk by MOS, has earned each of his promotions meritoriously — and his many achievements have raised the bar for his fellow Marines at Marine Aviation Detachment at NAS Paxutent River.

Rindt’s philosophy is simple. “It’s important to use MCI courses for good causes, like training your Marines, and furthering your own education by earning a degree,” he says. “Two of our Marines have already gotten their Associates degrees using credits they received from MCIs.”

In August of 2005, Rindt attended the Corporal’s Leadership course aboard The Basic School, in Quantico, Va., where he became the Honor Graduate, and earned the Gung-Ho Leadership Award.

“Corporal Rindt is a fine American,” Gen. Magnus summed up.  “In every step of his life and military career, he has excelled.”

Rindt was recently accepted to the Meritorious Enlisted Commissioning Education Program, and he plans on attending Norwich University in Vermont in the fall of 2006, to study Political Science and History.

His goals from there are straightforward. He wants to continue learning, become the best officer he can, and — above all — never stop making his family, friends and Corps proud.