Editor’s note: Some of the largest military bases in the country are right here in Eastern North Carolina. WNCT’s Claire Curry and Cheyenne Pagan cover several of them: Camp Lejeune, New River and Cherry Point. They are highlighting the service men and women for their dedication to our country during the month of April with stories about some of the military members who stand out.


CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WNCT) — North Carolina has some of the largest military bases in the country and one Marine has stood out.

Robert O’Brien with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, has been meticulously promoted for his efforts over the years.

“My only job now, for the rest of time I’m in the Marine Corps is making the people under me better than I was at that time,” said O’Brien. “Basically what I do is I distribute trucks personnel to accomplish what they need done in the field of exercise, specific field exercises and training events.”

Honoring Our Heroes: Cpl. Liam Sullivan

O’Brien is a Gunnery Sergeant and has been in the Marines for 14 years. He holds many titles, such as a drill instructor, and now he is the Motor Transport Operations Chief. Directing others and making sure vehicles are combat-ready is what O’Brien does.

Robert O’Brien (Claire Curry, WNCT photo)

“I may not have told them that at the time. But there has been countless recruits that have taught me something about how to be a leader, how to go about a problem than they’ll ever realize.”

Honoring Our Heroes: Capt. Reilly Sullivan

Not only is he a leader but he is also a student.

“It’s been a 10-year process to get a master’s degree with deployments, field exercises. Being a drill instructor, you know, you have to make time and find time, and eventually, you’ll find your way to the end,” O’Brien said.

Honoring Our Heroes: Lance Cpl. Henry Lopez

When O’Brien was asked about his wife he replied, “She definitely assists me and pushes me to be better and do more every time every day. And then everything we do is for our children.”

He hopes to work in the school system in some way after his time in the Marine Corps, to be closer to his children.