North Oconee High School alumnus Bennett F. Shelton IV, known as “Brookes,” achieved one more notable accomplishment two days after graduating from Kennesaw State University with a bachelor’s degree in construction management. 

On the morning of Dec. 19, Brookes was commissioned into the U.S. Marine Corps as a second lieutenant at Oconee Veterans Park. 

Among the ceremony’s attendees were his parents, Julie Shelton and Bennett Frank Shelton III, known as Rusty. 

“Other than your birth, baptism, and your recent graduation from college, today is by far one of the proudest days that we as parents have shared with you,” Rusty said at the ceremony. 

Brookes explained before the ceremony that joining the Marines had long been on his mind. 

“It’s kind of always been a frame of mind to enlist,” Brookes said. “What I wanted to do after school was to carry on that tradition that my dad was a part of as well.”

Brookes completed officer candidate school during his latter collegiate years, graduating from the program in August of 2018. 

Captain Alicia Chambers, the Officer Selection Officer for the Kennesaw area, attended the ceremony and shared remarks about her time working with him over the past 18 months. 

When Chambers asked her predecessor about Brookes, the superior had only positive things to say.

“He said, ‘This is the most ethical, responsible, bright student. Don’t even worry about him. He’ll be fine,’” Chambers said. 

For more on this story, see the Jan. 2 edition of The Oconee Enterprise, on sale now at convenience stores and grocery stores and newspaper boxes throughout Oconee County. To subscribe, call (706) 769-5175 or visit the tab on our website.

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