WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Jeremy Jones was able to blend two pivotal factors in his growth when the time came for his Marine Corps commission ceremony.
On Monday afternoon, Jones, a Jacksonville native who grew up near Camp Lejeune, became one of the few UNCW graduates to hold a commissioning ceremony on the school's campus. He discussed it with WECT's Alex Guarino on News Now.
An oceanography major, Jones used the Platoon Leadership Course program to complete training while he was in school, which allowed him to commission immediately after graduation.
Corey Click, the president of UNCW's Student Veterans Organization, was on board with Jones being commissioned on campus.
"He said, 'Jeremy, this could be a huge deal. We could make this a big event' and that's what I wanted to do (Monday)," Jones said. "I wanted to show the Wilmington public and the UNCW campus who've never really seen a commissioning ceremony before what it looks like and a little about the Marine Corps culture."
Jones is deciding exactly what he wants to do next, but he said combat engineer and infantry are high on his list.
Maintaining his family's connection to the corps hasn't always been easy, but Jones said it's worth it.
"It's been a long time coming, but it's been a very rewarding process," he said. "My grandfather was a Marine and I looked up to him. I'm fortunate to follow in his footsteps."
Rejeanna Jones, Jeremy's mother, is a 1990 UNCW graduate and Jeremy's brother, Christian, plans to enroll in 2019.