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Local Marine Feels True Meaning of ‘Esprit de Corps’

Fellow officers bring staff sergeant's promotion ceremony to Santa Maria hospital.

Major Aixa Dones, left, Staff Sgt. Jose Briones, Lucia Briones, Staff Sgt. Ruddy Colon, Gunnery Sgt. Nick Martinez and Sgt. Major John Paul Doring celebrate Marine Briones’ promotion.
Major Aixa Dones, left, Staff Sgt. Jose Briones, Lucia Briones, Staff Sgt. Ruddy Colon, Gunnery Sgt. Nick Martinez and Sgt. Major John Paul Doring celebrate Marine Briones’ promotion. (Marian Regional Medical Center)

In an unusual turn of events recently, the U.S. Marine Corps took orders from a baby — actually, a baby boy who was on the way.

The child's father, Jose Briones, a Marine of 10 years, was scheduled to be promoted to staff sergeant last week at the Marine Corps Recruiting Station in Los Angeles.

It is tradition in the U.S. Marine Corps for a Marine being promoted to select the person he/she would like to pin the new rank on him/her. Staff Sgt. Briones chose his wife Lucia — who was pregnant with their second son — to bestow the honor on him.

But Lucia went into early labor, so fellow Marines — taking their cue from the baby — traveled to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria to present Brione with a plaque and lapel pins in recognition of his new rank while his wife was nearby in the hospital's Maternal and Newborn Center.

“This promotion is such an honor as it is one of the most significant ranks one can achieve,” Staff Sgt. Briones said. “I know it was far for them to come, but I feel thankful; this feels great.”

For a promotion of this sort, the commandant of the Marine Corps convenes a promotion board once a year. To be eligible to be considered for promotion by the board, Marines must meet Time-in-Service and Time-in-Grade requirements. Staff Sgt. Briones was selected from more than 2,400 Marines to receive this honor.

Marian Regional Medical Center, a Dignity Health Central Coast hospital, was elated to witness the meritorious promotion of a local member of the U.S. Marine Corps.

— Sara San Juan for Dignity Health Central Coast.

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