MARINE CORPS AIR STATION YUMA, Ariz. -- “It’s a family business that’s been passed on for four generations now,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Jeffery W. Kindler, staff noncommissioned officer-in-charge at Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting on station.
Most would assume the “Master Guns” was talking about a local restaurant, construction company, or a law firm.
“Joining the Marine Corps was definitely like going into a family business,” said Lance Cpl. Michael J. Kindler, disbursing clerk, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, son of Master Gunnery Sgt. Kindler and fourth-generation Marine.
Both father and son are stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma.
“Having my dad here is good and bad,” said Lance Cpl. Kindler, native of Havelock, N. C. “If I screw up, I know he’ll be right there with my chain-of-command. Also, if I ever need anything, I know that I’ll be able to go to him anytime, knowing that he’s right down the street.”
Being assigned to the same duty station as a family member is seen as a rare occurrence in the military. However, not for the Kindlers. This is not the first time the Kindler family has seen two of its own stationed on the same Marine base.
Retired Master Sgt. Meryl Kindler, and his son, retired Capt. Gary Kindler, Master Gunnery Sgt. Kindler’s father, were both stationed together on Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow, Calif., in June 1957.
“Not only were my dad and grandfather together at Barstow, but they also served in the Korean War together as well,” said Master Gunnery Sgt. Kindler.
The Kindler family has enjoyed its share of accomplishments in the Marine Corps. The family boasts two senior enlisted Marines and one officer. Master Sgt. Kindler also served in World War II, and Capt. Kindler fought in the Vietnam War. Master Gunnery Sgt. Kindler received an honorable mention for the Marine Corps Times Marine of the Year award in 2004.
The Kindler family is proud of its constant contribution to the Marine Corps.
“I think coming from such a long line of Marines is great,” said Lance Cpl. Kindler. “I know I can’t be a bad Marine. I don’t want to ruin the family name. It also gives me a strong bond with the rest of the family.
In light of his family’s history in the Marine Corps, Lance Cpl. Kindler didn’t feel any pressure to join.
“My dad didn’t pressure me at all to join the Corps,” said Lance Cpl. Kindler. “I know, no matter what, he would have been proud of me.”
Lance Cpl. Kindler arrived on station in October 2004. His father arrived in Yuma 10 months afterward in August of this year. However, this isn’t the “Master Gun’s” first time here.
“This is my third tour at MCAS Yuma,” he said. “I’ve also been to MCAS Futenma, Okinawa, Japan, and MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. That’s just overseas. Stateside, I’ve been to the now closed MCAS El Toro, Calif., and MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.”
Even with four generations serving in the Marine Corps, the Kindler family doesn’t seem content to let it rest there.
“If I have kids, I hope they join the Corps,” said Lance Cpl. Kindler. “Military life is a great experience for any kid. Joining the military teaches you a lot about yourself and your abilities.”