McNair brothers sworn in, together, by father

| January 20, 2017 | 0 Comments
The McNair brothers are sworn in to the Hawaii Army National Guard by their father, a retired Navy captain. (Photo by Karen Iawamoto, Oahu Publications)

The McNair brothers are sworn in to the Hawaii Army National Guard by their father, a retired Navy captain. (Photo by Karen Iawamoto, Oahu Publications)

Story and photos by
Karen A. Iwamoto
Staff Writer

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Clayton McNair, 25, and his younger brother, Austin McNair, 23, have always been close.

Born into a military family where moving was the norm, they were each other’s constant companions.

They were homeschooled together, attended and graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa together, and on Jan. 13, they were sworn into the Hawaii Army National Guard, at the Military Entrance Processing Station, here, together.

Their HIARNG recruiter, Sgt. 1st Class Arwin Tumaneng, said it was rare to have two brothers swear in at the same time, and the occasion was made even more special by the fact that their father, retired Navy Capt. Daniel McNair, presided over the ceremony, which took place 30 years to the date from his own swearing in.

The McNair family poses for a remembrance photo. (Photo by Karen Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

The McNair family poses for a remembrance photo. (Photo by Karen Iwamoto, Oahu Publications)

“I’m definitely proud of them. The National Guard gives them the unique opportunity to stay here in Hawaii while serving their country and their state,” their father said. “I think it gives them a great start in life. The skills they’ll learn will give them a lot of options for the future. I think serving their country is something that any young man or young woman should be proud to do and that they’ll be setting an example for others.”

But he also maintained his sense of humor.

“I didn’t think the boys would be going into the military. They grew up in a military family. We’ve been at it for 26 years, so I figured they were sick of it, but I guess not,” said the retired captain.

This may have been the case when the boys were younger.

“I didn’t want anything to do with the military,” said Clayton McNair, who graduated with a degree in creative media from UH in May 2016 and plans to pursue a military occupation specialty in public affairs. “But as I got older, I realized how hard it is to make a living, to get out and make it on my own.

“My dream, what I’d really like to do, is be able to do the ‘Go Army’ recruiting commercials in house,” he continued. “Right now, a civilian contractor makes the commercials, but I think it’d be great to have the Army be able to do it in-house. That’s my dream, but I’d be happy to have a career as a public affairs officer.”

Austin McNair, who followed in the footsteps of his engineer father, also had practical reasons for signing up. He graduated from UH with a degree in engineering and wants to become a civil engineer in the National Guard.

While Clayton had initially considered other military branches – he’d even begun the process of signing up with the Coast Guard, Austin decided on the National Guard right away because he knew he wanted to stay in Hawaii because he loves the ocean. Not only is it the final place his family was stationed by the Navy, it’s where his parents have retired, and it’s the place the family now considers home.

“The months Austin spends in basic training (on the mainland) is going to be the hardest,” Daniel McNair said, “because he’s not going to be able to surf.”

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Category: Leadership, News, Observances

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