Photo Information

Sgt. Maj. Sylvester Daniels, Marine Barracks Washington Sergeant Major, presents the flag to Bettina L. Beard during a funeral service at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Feb. 5. Beard is the widow of Lance Cpl. Julian T. Brennan, who was killed in action Jan. 24 as a result of injuries after being struck by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations in Farah Province, Afghanistan. Brennan is the first enlisted Marine to receive a full honors funeral under new CMC policy.

Photo by Cpl. Jacob H. Harrer

Enlisted Marine first to receive full honors funeral under new policy

5 Feb 2009 | Cpl. Jacob H. Harrer

The first enlisted Marine to be given a full honors military funeral under new Marine Corps policy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery, Feb. 5.

Lance Cpl. Julian T. Brennan was honored by a funeral detail from Marine Barracks Washington. Dozens of family and friends attended the historic event.

The Barracks provided an escort platoon of ceremonial marchers, a color guard, a ceremonial bugler, three drummers from the U.S. Marine Band, and a detail of U.S. Marine Corps Body Bearers. The Marines marched with precision even as temperatures dipped well below freezing.

Sgt. Maj. Sylvester Daniels, Marine Barracks Washington Sergeant Major, personally presented flags to Brennan’s family as a tribute to the enlisted Marine.

On Jan. 5, Donald Winter, Secretary of the Navy, declared all Marines and Sailors killed in action, regardless of rank, are entitled to a full honors funeral by their respective services.

The policy, which was long sought by the Marine Corps, was finally realized after Pete Geren, Secretary of the Army, set precedence January 2nd, said Gunnery Sgt. William Dixon, U.S. Marine Corps Funeral Director, Marine Barracks Washington.

“What this shows is that whether enlisted or officer, you’re a Marine,” Dixon added.

The funeral carried special significance to Dixon, who has presided over hundreds of funerals while at the Barracks.

“He is like my little brother,” Dixon said. “I want the best for him, like anyone would want for his family.”

Brennan was killed in action Jan. 24 as a result of injuries sustained while conducting combat operations in Farah Province, Afghanistan with 3rd Battalion, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. Brennan is survived by his wife, Bettina L. Beard, father, Bill, and mother, Thya Merz.