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Cpl. Brandon Harper, a 29-year-old native of Detroit and the Headquarters Company clerk with Regimental Combat Team 7, is honored to serve on a deployment and volunteered to raise and lower the American flag at the RCT Headquarters. "I would describe him as honorable," said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Marshall, HQ Co. gunnery sergeant with RCT-7. “He tries to always do the right thing in every situation.”

Photo by Sgt. Ned Johnson

Detroit Marine honored to deploy, raise flag

6 Feb 2013 | Sgt. Ned Johnson 1st Marine Division

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan— At places like a Marine Corps Recruit Depot, drill and ceremony are commonplace to honor the courage and sacrifice of those who have served this nation. In Afghanistan, however, the necessities of war often leave behind these ceremonial traditions.

A Marine with Regimental Combat Team 7, keeps one of those traditions alive each night by honoring the American flag.

Cpl. Brandon Harper, the Headquarters Company clerk, RCT-7, volunteered to raise and lower the flag each evening at the RCT Headquarters.

The flags fly around-the-clock, but Marines choose to dedicate flags flown to their friends and families who support them at home. This is where Harper stepped up.

He takes the request, flies the flag on the date requested, and prints out the official certificate from the regiment that accompanies the flag.

“I think it’s an honor,” said Harper, a 29-year-old native of Detroit. “I have learned a lot about the correct drill movements and respect of the flag.”

Honor is a word oft spoken by and about Harper.

“I would describe him as honorable,” said Gunnery Sgt. Christopher Marshall, HQ Co. gunnery sergeant with RCT-7. “He tries to always do the right thing in every situation.”

Harper’s work situation isn’t a normal one. He is a radio operator by trade, but now works as an administrative clerk. Harper’s job involves making reports for the company, tracking annual training for all the Marines in the company and various daily administrative tasks.

“He has done a great job with his responsibilities,” Marshall said. “When he doesn’t know how to do something administrative, he always researches it and finds a way to get it done.”

Harper said he has learned many things on this deployment to include proper drill movements for raising and folding the flag.

In the future, Harper wants to be a financial planner and is using his available time on the deployment to work on his degree in finance.

At the end of the day, harper is grateful to be deployed.

“I find honor in it, that we are over here,” Harper said. “It gives all of us chance to become better at what we do, and increase attributes like our honor and courage.”

Editor’s note: This article is part of a series wherein every week we recognize an individual Marine or sailor with Regimental Combat Team 7. The Marines and sailors of RCT-7 are dedicated, disciplined and driven to accomplish the mission, and the Marine in this article has earned special recognition for standing out among these professionals. Be sure to check every week to see who will be honored as the latest Marine of the Week.


1st Marine Division