Local Marine is a presidential escort
The Ceremonial Marchers of Alpha Company comprises 1st and 2nd Platoons and handle hundreds of ceremonial commitments throughout the National Capital Region each year. These include Marine Corps funerals at Arlington National Cemetery, Armed Forces Wreath Ceremonies at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and Arrivals at the White House, the Pentagon and the Washington Navy Yard.
Last Friday, the ceremonial marchers were part of the parade that escorted the 45th President of the United States of America and Vice President as they made their way to the White House. And part of that parade, included one of our own — our local 20-year-old, a graduate from Fasa’o Marist School, LCPL Stein Mcentire.
“I felt really pumped and was excited. I knew it was a once in a lifetime opportunity so I made sure I was in the front row to march it. I am so happy not only representing the Marine Corp but also my home American Samoa too,” Mcentire told Samoa News.
Born and raised in American Samoa, LCPL Mcentire joined the Marine Corps in 2015, where after boot camp, he was selected on screening trips to the Recruit Depots and Schools of Infantry to be a ceremonial marcher. Their selection is based on a rigorous checklist of military appearance and composure and a thorough background qualification.
Marchers undergo an intense period of training in the exacting standards of ceremonial drill during Ceremonial Drill School- Marine Barracks-Washington D.C. Training can last to upwards of a month and upon completion, marchers are fully qualified to participate in all ceremonial commitments at the Barracks.
“It was a lot of hard work, I am just glad I was able to better prepare myself mentally and physically before I left for boot camp and really felt honored to get selected as a ceremonial marcher,” Mcentire told Samoa News.
He was able to come home this past holidays to be with his parents Patrick and Tupou Mcentire and his younger siblings Ryan and Susan before he went back to prepare for the Inauguration Day parade.
With Mcentire being part of the Marine Corps he has inspired his family especially his parents to stay fit. While Mcentire marched for the Inauguration, his father Patrick prepared himself for the Tri for you LIFE Triathlon of American Samoa that happened this past Saturday — where he was placed 2nd place for doing a .93 mile swim, 24.6 mile bike and a 6.2 mile run.
He will be competing in New Zealand for the IRONMAN New Zealand Triathlon representing American Samoa. While, Stein’s mother, Tupou, will be competing in the Pacific Games Bodybuilding competition this October in the Solomon Islands/Vanuatu also representing American Samoa.
“We are so proud of our son for being part of the Inauguration Parade, he has motivated us to live a healthy life and we have come a long way and we love how we live now,” Tupou told Samoa News.
LCPL Mcentire has less than two years left and will be reenlisting again, he said, saying he enjoys the Marine brotherhood and experiences, especially representing his family and country.
According to Stein, the Marines of Alpha Company are, first and foremost, infantry Marines by trade. Upon leaving the Barracks, the Marines report to Infantry Battalions throughout the Marine Corps and deploy throughout the world. In order to prepare them for this transition, Alpha Company Marines complete all annual training requirements to include rifle, swim and martial arts qualifications and conducts field operations to train the Marines in fire team and squad-level tactics. The training is tailored to the operational tempo of today's Marine Corps and is heavily focused around Military Operations on Urban Terrain and other skills supporting the Global War on Terrorism.