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Citadel News Service
19 Jul 2006

Three MECEPS honored by Charleston Police Department

Hoo-ah! Don't mess with the Marines.

A man accused of trying to break into the Congress Street house known as The Boneyard - home to Marines enrolled at The Citadel - learned the hard way recently that you should not mess with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Three Citadel MECEPs who thwarted a break-in at their Congress Street home, leading to the burglar's capture, have been recognized by Charleston Police. Sgt. Matthew Smith, Staff Sgt. Robert Clements and Sgt. Brad Parr received citizen commendations from Interim Charleston Police Chief Ned Hethington, CGPS '03.

In late June a burglar was caught red handed trying to break into the home. When MECEP Sgt. Matthew Smith caught the man trying to remove a window air conditioning unit from the rear of the house he and his fellow Marines Sgt. Brad Parr and Staff Sgt. Robert Clements confronted the burglar. The burglar fled and the Marines began the chase. The burglar didn't get far before the three Marines nabbed him and detained him until police arrived.

On July 18, the Charleston Police Department gave Smith, Park and Clements citizen commendations for their efforts.

"The Charleston Police Department was happy to be able to present these Marines with a department award. They raised citizen involvement to the highest level when they very bravely apprehended this career criminal in the act of burglary. This is unusual in that many citizens would at best call the police and then leave the area," said Interim Charleston Police Chief Ned Hethington, CGPS '03. "This particular criminal had a lengthy police record and many citizens have been victims of his crimes in the past years. Because of their efforts this criminal will be taken off the streets .The police department and the citizens of Charleston are indebted to these young men."


The Marine Enlisted Commissioning Educational Program (MECEP) began at The Citadel in 1973 as an extension of the Marine-oriented Naval ROTC program. The MECEP program allows enlisted Marines to earn their college degree and an officer's commission upon graduation. It is one of two programs aimed at enlisted servicemen and women. The Navy Seaman to Admiral Commissioning Program (STA-21) began in 2002 for enlisted personnel stationed at the Naval Nuclear Power School or Naval Nuclear Power Training Unit.

Achieving excellence in the education and development of principled leaders
Media Contact:
Kim Keelor-Parker
(843) 953-2155

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