USAREC officer receives Gen. Douglas MacArthur Award
Capt. Mia Figgs
USAREC Public Affairs
FORT KNOX, Ky. – A company commander from the Tampa Recruiting Battalion received one of the highest honors a junior officer can receive during a ceremony at the Pentagon Oct. 5.
Capt. Marcus Mustin, who leads the Orlando Recruiting Company, was one of 28 company-grade officers from across the Army selected to receive the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Award from Vice Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Joseph Martin.
For over three decades, the MacArthur award has been presented to officers and warrant officers whose service has been recognized as among the finest in the regular Army, Reserve and the National Guard.
“You're able to live up to a shared set of values; the values of leadership, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, and personal courage,” Martin said during the ceremony, according to a U.S. Army news release.
Mustin said is humbled to receive such a prestigious award.
“What means most to me is that my name will forever be etched in place on the halls of the Pentagon,” he said. “It’s a very profound feeling to know that my kids, their kids, and then my great-grandkids will always be able to see my name on those walls. My legacy will outlive me.”
Mustin says he decided to join the Army because he was inspired to follow in his older brother's footsteps and carry on the family lineage of military service. Being a young adult with a child at the time, Mustin knew he wanted to provide two things to his growing family, stability and structure.
"I knew early on that there were opportunities in the Army that my family and I could benefit from; that was my initial reason for joining," said Mustin, who initially enlisted in 1999 as a cable installer/maintainer. "I wanted to do something similar to what my brother was already doing in the Army. Doing something similar meant that I could get the opportunity to be stationed with him.”
Mustin has faced tough challenges throughout his Army career and has persevered through them all.
In 2012 while at Fort Benning, Georgia, for Officer Candidate School, a 33-year-old Mustin injured his hand while climbing down a ladder in a speedy race against his opponent on an obstacle course. Numerous broken small bones formed a lump that required surgery. He was released from the course, as he faced up to eight months in rehabilitation.
Not willing to accept defeat, Mustin returned to OCS after he recovered from his injury and earned his commission as a second lieutenant.
Unfortunately, Mustin would soon be faced with greater life challenges.
He was selected to become a recruiting company commander, and he knew his most important task would be to create an environment where his Soldiers trusted company command leadership. He wanted to foster a work environment where subordinates knew their leaders cared.
While working to develop a positive command climate and leading his team to achieve the current month’s recruiting mission, Mustin was unexpectedly diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Mustin was forced to take a step back from the mission for four months and heavily rely on the Soldiers he prided himself in leading while his doctors treated his cancer.
Today, Mustin stands as a cancer survivor back in the recruiting office, encouraging Future Soldiers to take the next step that will change their entire lives. He has even taken his desire to help others one step further by volunteering his personal time to work with Civilian Aides to the Secretary of the Army Allie Braswell and Landy Dunham and other local partners to raise money for homeless individuals who are interested in military service.
“Changing the lives of these kids is my why,” Mustin said. “Seeing so many come from a struggling household to deciding to join the Army, to later finding success and reaching back out to me – thanking me for the small part I played in their life story, that’s why I continue to serve.”