Paul “Al” Gunn graduated from The Citadel last Saturday. On Monday he became a Marine.
Gunn participated in a commissioning ceremony, making him a 2nd lieutenant. He will begin training in October in Quantico, Va., and he plans to become a logistics officer.
At the ceremony on his family’s front porch at their home in Burns, Gunn was surrounded by his mother, Rachel Smith, and his father, John Gunn, who each put his bars on his shoulders.
Gunn’s brother Will Gunn, who is a police officer for Dickson County, handed him his Mameluke Sword (a ceremonial sword given to Marine officers). His other brother Andy Gunn, who is also a police office in Fairview and serves in the Marine Corps Reserve, gave him his first official salute after the ceremony ended.
Al Gunn has been working towards the moment for six years since his time in high school. Gunn had to apply for admission to The Citadel, pass many physical tests and partake in interviews with other commissioning officers before he was accepted for the position.
“It’s been a long road so it’s pretty exciting,” Gunn said. “Saturday, I graduated and today I’m commissioning. It’s very exciting to start your career but this is just the beginning and not the end.”
Gunn waited patiently for his name to be called during the commissioning ceremony. The names were called in alphabetical order so he didn’t have to wait too long, but in true Marine fashion, Gunn stood tall and proud as each of his classmates’ names were called.
Gunn has his eyes set on taking one step at a time and doing things the right way.
“I just want to finish the TBS (The Basic School), finish that training and get my job,” Gunn said. “After that I’ll be getting into the Fleet Marine Corps and get my first platoon in the Marines.”