Photo above: Braxton Crawford, The Citadel Class of 2021, accepts a commission to become a 2nd Lt. in the U.S. Army Reserve, his uniform insignia pinned on by his parents, both of whom achieved the rank of colonel in the Army, at a ceremony on The Citadel campus on Friday, January 14, 2022. Crawford’s first salute was delivered by WWII frogman and family friend, Lt. CDR Walter Machowski.
As seen on WCSC-TV, by Lauren Quinlan
Four army officers were commissioned Friday morning during a ceremony at The Citadel.
2nd Lt. Braxton Crawford, The Citadel Class of 2021, took a moment to honor retired Lt. Commander Walter Machowski, who holds a special place in his heart.
Machowski served as a frogman, which was a precursor to the Navy seals in World War II. He also served in Vietnam and was on a submarine off the coast of Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
He lives across the street from Crawford, who was recently promoted.
“He’s been with us since we moved here back in 2006,” Crawford said. “He helped install the irrigation system in our front yard and still gives help out to my dad to this day.”
Machowski said he is honored to have been invited to celebrate Crawford’s commissioning.
This ceremony was also a time for Machowski to reflect on his time in the Navy.
“I spent a lot of time at sea. I spent 26 of my 32 plus years in submarines,” Machowski said. “Other than that, World War Two, I was a member of team nine.”
Crawford comes from a family of those who have chosen to serve their country. He is following in the footsteps of both his parents but also takes inspiration from his neighbor across the street.
“I just hope to have half the courage and bravery that his generation and he himself had, and I think I’ll have a pretty successful career,” Crawford said.
Watch the video version of this report here.
Below are photos from the event, taken by The Citadel photographer.