MARINE CORPS RECRUIT DEPOT PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. – --
There are many reasons why individuals join the Marine Corps; opportunity, the betterment of one’s self, pride of belonging, and much more.
For Pfc. Naim I. Al-Qaadir Jr., joining was a matter of following in his father’s footprints.
Maj. Naim I. Al-Qaadir, assistant for officer procurement for 1st Marine Corps District, was reunited with his son on the parade deck of Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., following his graduation April 25. Al-Qaadir Jr. graduated with Company L., 3rd Recruit Training Battalion.
After the new Marines were dismissed for the final time by their drill instructors, the parade deck became swamped with enthusiastic and proud families looking for their Marines.
Al-Qaadir was one of those proud parents. Head on a swivel, he made his way through the crowd until he came face to face with his son. Al-Qaadir Jr. saluted his father for the first time and soon after was surrounded by friends and family.
“Having two Marines in the family is pretty intense,” said Colette Al-Qaadir, Al-Qaadir Jr.’s mother. “It’s outstanding that he’s able to follow in his father’s footsteps. I’m sure he’ll be just as successful as his father, if not more.”
Al-Qaadir Jr. made it through 13 weeks of recruit training, overcoming mental and physical obstacles to earn the title of United States Marine.
“I’m very proud of my son,” said Al-Qaadir. “He joined for all the right reasons. I spoke to him yesterday and could sense he’s gained maturity and confidence.”
Colette said Al-Qaadir Jr. has always been polite, but after becoming a Marine she said she notices he’s more polished and more driven.
“Once you graduate you start to see what being a Marine is really about and how it’s valued and treasured,” said Al-Qaadir Jr. “You realize you’re a part of something that’s real, something that is respected, something bigger than yourself.”
The senior Al-Qaadir graduated from Parris Island in 1995, marching across the parade deck almost 20 years ago with Company M., 3rd Recruit Training Battalion.
“I heard this saying from my senior drill instructor, ‘A leader is not established by what you accomplish, but is defined by what you inspire others to accomplish,’” said Al-Qaadir Jr. “My dad has been in the Marine Corps my whole life and has inspired me to be like him.”