Benjamin McKenzie Griffith was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps recently on the deck of the USS Wisconsin Battleship Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia, making him the third generation in a row from his family commissioned as an officer in the Marines.
His father, retired Col. Rayburn G. Griffith of Chesapeake, Virginia, was the commissioning officer, and his grandfather, retired Col. Dick Schwartz of Marion, was present to pin the new rank insignia — two shiny gold bars — to his grandson’s uniform tunic.
“I was extremely proud and honored to participate in my grandson’s commissioning ceremony,” Schwartz said.
Rayburn Griffith also passed on his Mameluke sword — a weapon only carried by Marine Corps officers — to Benjamin Griffith.
“Growing up around great men like my dad and grandfather, I knew from a very young age what I wanted to do with my life,” Benjamin Griffith said. “Wearing this uniform and carrying on their legacy is a dream come true.”