VIDEO: Newly Minted Marine Lt. Jack Moran of Merritt Island Carries On Family Legacy of Military Service
By Maria Sonnenberg // February 4, 2018
SPACE COAST DAILY TV SPECIAL PRESENTATION
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Don’t worry about America’s greatness. Thanks to individuals such as Lt. John “Jack” Moran and his family, there is no fear that the country is slipping in that department. The newly minted Marine from Merritt Island is the latest in the family to carry on a legacy of military service to their country. (Video by Zach Clark)
BREVARD COUNTY • MERRITT ISLAND, FLORIDA – Don’t worry about America’s greatness. Thanks to individuals such as Second Lieutenant John “Jack” Moran and his family, there is no fear that the country is slipping in that department.
The newly minted Marine from Merritt Island is the latest in the family to carry on a legacy of military service to their country. His father, Edward J. Moran II, was commissioned in 1986 and retired as a major in the Marine Corps.
He flew FA-18 Hornets with the Marines and F-16s on exchange with the Air Force out of Luke Air Force Base, where he had to eject – thankfully successfully – just before Jack’s older brother, 24-year-old Tyler, was born.
Jack’s grandfather, Senior Chief Retired Larry Michael Morse, was an enlisted submariner who devoted two decades of his life to the Navy. Both Jack’s father and grandfather were among the proud witnesses to Jack’s commissioning ceremony on January 13.
Members of the family of Moran’s stepmother, Liz, has a long history in the British Royal Navy and her father served in the United States during the period of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
“I believe that my family having a military legacy played a factor in my determining to pursue the Marines, although certainly not the biggest factor, as the individual has to a belief in and a will to serve his country,” said Moran.
“They will not be they best they could be if they only joined because of that legacy.”
Captain Seth Dellinger, who swore the young Marine into the ranks, noted that while a lot of young people express interest in joining the Marines, it is indeed only “the few, the proud” who can meet the rigorous physical, moral and academic requirements needed. More than a third of the candidates will cave in under the intense pressure they find during Officer Candidate School.
“It is not for the faint of heart,” said Moran.
“Officer Candidate School was intense. It pushed everyone there to the limit and the graduate rate shows that. They break us down to put us back together again.”
Moran, however, was determined to emerge better than he started, and he had no hesitation.
“I don’t think that there was ever a moment I thought I would not graduate,” he said. “I took it a day at a time and accomplished everything I need to make sure I did graduate.”
He credits his grandparent’s for helping him remain in focus.
“My grandparents were a big help to me at OCS,” he said. “They wrote me letters because we were not allowed to use our phones during the first three weeks at all, and then after that only on the weekends. Just receiving a small handwritten letter after a long day was really nice to lift your spirits and realize that the world was still going on outside of Brown Field in Quantico.”
Born in La Jolla, California, Jack moved with his family to Merritt Island when he was five. At that point, he was already well versed in ice hockey, since he had been active in the sport from the time he was all of three years old. The love affair with the ice was long-lasting.
“I continued playing through my first year at the collegiate level at UCF,” said Jack.
Moran liked ice, but also excelled in the water. At Edgewood Junior/Senior High School, he was part of the varsity swim team. At Merritt Island High School, his sport of choice was lacrosse, on the varsity level, of course. Sports have played an important part in Moran’s life in school and continue to do so as an adult.
“My hobbies mostly include sports, really too many to name, mostly hockey, soccer and the gym,” said Moran.
Moran graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in finance last December, just a couple of weeks before he received his commission. Will a financial background be of any value to a high-flying Marine?
“I might not be using that degree all too much in the Marine Corps, but it will help me substantially in my own personal financial goals and plans,” he said.
On the other hand, his private pilot’s license, which Moran earned when he was 17, should help ease him into his military career.
“I have continued flying and building my hours up to approximately 230 hours,” he explained. “I have recently completed my instrument rating written exam and hope to have my instrument rating before I leave for The Basic School.”
Come May 7, the youngest Moran will be checking into The Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, to spend the next six months of his life honing his infantry skills before heading to Pensacola to continue the pursuit of the Marine dream.
“Having that flight time and instrument training will only help me when I eventually start my flight training in Pensacola with the Marines,” said Moran.
Until he returns to Quantico, Moran will spend his work week at the Orlando Officer Selection Station performing officer candidate recruiting duties. His work takes him to universities such as Embry-Riddle to discuss with other college students the opportunities awaiting them in the Platoon Leaders Course and the Office Candidates Course, both of which lead to commissions in the Marines.
When asked what three words best describes him, Moran says he is honest, hardworking and determined, all character traits he has already displayed in abundance. He considers himself blessed to be able to serve his country.
“The privilege of being a United States Marine is overwhelming,” he said. “It means more than I can put into words.”
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