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THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014  03:22:22 AM

Deployed father renders first salute to newly-commissioned son

Email   Print   Share By Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
May 30, 2013 | News
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FAR LEFT, Master Sgt. Marshall Rader holds a silver dollar in a coin holder after the officer commissioning ceremony of his son Gregory Rader, May 10. LEFT, Master Sgt. Marshall Rader holds a silver dollar in a coin holder he received from his son in the mail. ABOVE, Task Force Long Knife Soldiers stand at attention as they watch U.S. Army Maj. Jennifer Rader recite the oath of enlistment to her son, Gregory Rader, during his officer commissioning ceremony at a ceremony held at North Georgia University, May 10. A video teleconference was set up inside the conference room at Forward Operating Base Gamberi so that Master Sgt. Rader can render the first salute to his son following his promotion. Rader serves as human resources noncommissioned officer-in-charge with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cav. Div. Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
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Master Sgt. Marshall Rader (right), stands next to Col. William Benson, commander of 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div., as he renders the first salute to his son, Gregory Rader, following his commissioning ceremony held at North Georgia University, May 10. A video teleconference was set up inside the conference room at FOB Gamberi, Afghanistan, so that Rader could render the first salute to his son after his promotion. Rader serves as human resources NCOIC for the Long Knife Brigade. Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade,4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
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The video image of U.S. Army Maj. Jennifer Rader reciting the oath of enlistment to her son, 2nd Lt. Gregory Rader, is projected on a screen during an officer commissioning ceremony held at North Georgia University, May 10. Staff Sgt. Richard Andrade, 4th BCT, 1st Cav. Div. Public Affairs
LAGHMAN PROVINCE, Afghanistan - Master Sgt. Marshall Rader opened up a laptop and turned on a projector atop the conference room table at Forward Operating Base Gamberi, May 10. He then opened a video chat program and saw a familiar face on the screen projected onto the wall.

A video teleconference was set up inside the conference room at FOB Gamberi so Rader could render the first salute to his son Gregory during his officer commissioning ceremony following a ceremony held on the North Georgia University campus.

Marshall said he has 17 years in active service with the U.S. Army. He served as a military policeman before changing his military occupational specialty to human resources specialist. He serves as human resources noncommissioned officer-in-charge with 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, based out of Fort Hood.

The native of Clarington, Ohio, served honorably for 10 years in the Army before getting out. Marshall said he was out for five years when he decided to re-enlist.

“My wife deployed, and 29 days later, I came back into the Army,” Marshall said. “I just missed it too much. I love the military.”

Marshall’s wife is a major, her father is a retired lieutenant colonel and her grandfather was a major in the U.S. Army. Marshall said his son was always interested in the military growing up.

The majority of the Rader Family has either served or is currently in the military. When his son, Greg, graduated high school, he attended college in Florida far from home and any connection to the military. After his son attended his first year of college, he was still considering the military.

“He was actually born in Belgium, and has been affiliated with the military his entire life,” Marshall said.

He said his son attended North Georgia College, majoring in political science, and joined the Reserve Officer Training Course, Simultaneous Membership Program. After attending basic training and graduating from advanced individual training as an electrical engineer, he served as an enlisted Soldier in the US. Army Reserve.

As the connection came up, everyone on the screen began to smile. Marshall’s two daughters were in attendance. His father-in-law, wife and son were all dressed in their Army Service Uniform for the occasion.

“My wife was ecstatic,” Marshall said. “He (Greg) is commissioning in the same branch as she is, transportation.”

Greg stood at attention with his right hand up as his mother, Maj. Jennifer Rader, read the oath of enlistment to her son. More people began to walk into the conference room to witness Marshall’s son become the newest officer in the Rader Family.

Greg is the oldest of three siblings, his two sisters are 20 and 18.

“He has always wanted to join the Army,” Marshall said. “He excelled while serving in the reserves and earned the rank of sergeant.”

Marshall said he is glad his son got to see the perspective of the enlisted side of the Army before he became an officer.

During the VTC, the newest lieutenant in the Family was pinned by his fiancee and grandfather. Each one placed the shoulder boards with rank on the shoulders of 2nd Lt. Rader.

Everyone in the conference room at FOB Gamberi and at the university clapped their hands for the newest lieutenant.

2nd Lt. Rader then looked at the computer screen as his father, Master Sgt. Rader, rendered the new officer his first salute. After the new lieutenant reciprocated, everyone clapped their hands again. The internet connection was a little slow, but both sides could see what was happening. After the ceremony, they moved the laptop to another room so that the Family could have time to talk to one another.

In the meantime, Marshall received handshakes and congratulations from the Stetson-wearing Soldiers in the conference room. He looked at a silver dollar in his hand and said it was sent from his Family in the U.S.

Marshall showed the group in attendance a silver dollar which he placed in a clear coin holder. He said it is a tradition for the newly promoted officer to present the first person to render a salute with a silver dollar.

“It’s a great honor,” Marshall said. “(The coin) has got his birth year on it.

“I wanted to be there for my son, but I know I had to be here,” Marshall said. “We all tried to figure out a way to do this, and it worked out very well."

The event was not without its humorous moment.

“How are you doing, sir?” Marshall asked his son. The group in Georgia all chuckled.

2nd Lt. Rader said he was honored to have his two role models take part in the ceremony.

“It means a lot to have my mother swear me in and have my father render the first salute,” Marshall said. “I think that was awesome.”

His mother, Maj. Rader, said she was extremely proud.

“We were initially disappointed that his dad wouldn’t attend because of his deployment,” Jennifer said. “Technology is so much better now, I am glad he got the chance to attend the ceremony. I am absolutely thrilled and so proud of my son.”

The group in the conference room began to leave in order to give the Rader Family time for themselves.

“I am just so excited and happy that I got to partake in tonight’s event with my Family,” said Master Sgt. Rader.

“There are so many officers on that screen,” the master sergeant said pointing the screen shot of his Family projected on the white wall. “I will have a very tired arm from saluting all the officers walking to my house.”
 
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