+
Family

Marine Corps Master Sergeant gave his son an emotional first salute as a commissioned officer

Marine Corps Master Sergeant gave his son an emotional first salute as a commissioned officer

There are moments as a parent that stand out, and there are moments as a human that stand out, and when those two realities converge, it makes for pure magic.

One such magical moment was captured and shared on TikTok and has been viewed by millions in just one day.

Master Sergeant Michael Fisher is an instructor with the Marine Corps Junior ROTC program. He has spent the past nine months sharing sweet videos on Tik Tok of himself and his adorable 1-year-old granddaughter, Abby, but yesterday he shared something completely different. In his official role as Master Sergeant, Fisher gave his son his first salute as a Second Lieutenant.

And as he explained the pride he felt, the emotion in his voice took us straight to his heart.


"I've watched you grow and mature and become the man that you are today," he said. "You have always been respectful, by saying 'Yes sir.' 'No sir.' 'Yes, ma'am.' And 'No, ma'am.' A salute is a sign of respect. It is a privilege to render you your first salute."

He raised his hand in salute, then added, his voice cracking, "But it is a greater honor to say 'Congratulations, sir, on your commissioning.'"

The moment was clearly significant for this father and son for personal reasons, but it was also significant that it took place between a Black officer and non-commissioned officer.

Though racial diversity is fairly representative of the general population in lower officer ranks of the military, the upper ranks are lacking in such diversity. In fact, the higher in pay grade you go, the more white the demographics become.

As this chart from the Defense Department shows, at the top of the pay grade for active enlistment officers, 92% are white and 5% are Black.

defense.gov


For the reserves, the trend is similar, with white officers making up a disproportionate percentage of the top pay grades.

defense.gov

As Master Sergeant, Michael Fisher is an upper-ranked non-commissioned officer. His son's rank of Second Lieutenant is the first commissioned officer ranking. (This site has a breakdown of how the rankings work, and what the letters below the bars on the chart mean.)

The Defense Department's own report acknowledges that racial minorities are underrepresented in both senior non-commissioned officer ranks and as well as higher commissioned officer ranks. The report also explains why that's a problem:

"Appropriate representation of minorities in military leadership positions is increasingly important in the context of the nation's demographic trends. The non-Hispanic White population is expected to decline from 199 million in 2020 to 179 million in 2060, while the rest of the U.S. population continues to grow. The population of people who are two or more races is projected to be the single fastest-growing racial or ethnic group, followed by Asian and Hispanic Americans. Thus, if military leaders are to mirror the racial and ethnic composition of the Service members they lead and the American public they serve, DoD must ensure that all Service members have access to opportunities to succeed and advance into leadership positions."

Here's hoping this new Second Lieutenant will have every opportunity to rise in the officer ranks, if he so chooses.

Meanwhile, we'll watch this video a few more times and just for the feels. There's something about someone in uniform in a formal situation trying to hold it together that just tugs at the heartstrings every time. And seeing this career military man honoring his son with his first salute as an officer—and hearing his voice break as he does so—it's just so touching.

Thank you, Master Sergeant Fisher and Second Lieutenant son, for your dutiful service.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less