My ring story: an active duty Marine’s journey

Staff Sergeant Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Beaufort, South Carolina, ’21

Meet Staff Sgt. Lyndsay Danielle Pires, MECEP, ’21, Beaufort, South Carolina

Photo above: Staff Sgt. Lyndsay Danielle Pires, Marine Enlisted Commissioning Education Program active duty student, ’21, with son JJ

Who or what inspired you to attend The Citadel?

In addition to wanting to live in the Charleston area, The Citadel appealed to me for its prestigious reputation and alumni. This institution stands out for its unique educational experience, and opportunities within the Cadet and Veteran community to lead and learn from others within your four years here.

What was the most difficult obstacle you conquered that made you feel you earned the honor of wearing the Citadel Graduate College band of gold?

Being a dual major, a single mother, and an active duty Marine is demanding, but being entrusted with the responsibility to help mentor the future military leaders of America is just as heavy. The small part I had in these young men and women’s lives makes me feel most honored to wear the ring.

In what ways has this institution impacted your life?

My time here at The Citadel has been crucial to my personal leadership development. Not only has college given me the necessary critical thinking skills needed to succeed moving forward as a commissioned officer, but also the exposure and training within the Navy ROTC program has allowed me to network and continue to thrive in a military environment.

When you put your ring on your finger, what memories about The Citadel will you be thinking about?

Putting the ring on is the culmination of four years of opportunity. The opportunity to develop as an individual and a Marine, the opportunity to earn a valuable education, the opportunity to spend quality time raising my son, and most importantly, the opportunity to serve next to, and learn from some of the greatest men and women this country has to offer.

Like ranks in the military, the ring is a representation of past achievements and future responsibilities. In addition to the affiliation of honor and history within this great institution, the ring symbolizes that you are an individual of commendable moral character.

You are connected to thousands of alumni, not only through your Citadel experience but through the ring. How does that make you feel?

Empowered. I’m grateful to all those who paved the way before me, and hopeful for all those who will follow.

What is inscribed on the inside of your ring and what is the significance?

Next to being a mom, being a Marine is the most meaningful work I’ve ever done. The inside of my ring says both Semper Fidelis, signifying my commitment and gratitude to the Marine Corps – and JJ, my sons name and my ultimate reason why.

SSgt Pires is a Criminal Justice and English double major and an active duty Marine enrolled in the MECEP program. She will commission as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps upon graduation.

Citadel Class of 2021 MECEP student, Staff Sgt. Lindsay Danielle Pires with her son, JJ.