Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island --
The Legal Services Support Team on Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. unveiled a new courtroom June 11, 2019 named after a former staff judge advocate for his heroics in combat.
Lt. Col. Matthew McConnell, the legal services support team officer-in-charge, said that the courtroom was named in memory of Maj. Michael E. Weston, a Harvard Law graduate who enlisted in the Marine Corps then later commissioned as an officer to become a judge advocate.
“We moved into the building we are currently in around March or April,” McConnell said. “Col. William Pigott and I were discussing how to tie this building together and make it whole, and he had this idea to dedicate [the courtroom] to a judge advocate. Pigott immediately thought of Maj. Weston.”
McConnell said the court room is one of the more advanced court rooms in their inventory.
“We have these two brand new courtrooms that we are putting together,” McConnell said. “They have new technology and it’s a new space for us to work out of. This court room in particular that we just dedicated today, is probably the most modern and up-to-date court room in our entire inventory.”
Weston’s father, Steve Weston, said his son was an intelligent man who was passionate about education and educating his Marines.
“Mike was a renaissance man,” Steve said. “He knew so much about so many things whether it was history, or economics, computers, all of that. He was passionate about the things that he did and the Marine Corps in particular.”
Steve said Weston requested to deploy to Iraq and Afghanistan, due to the dedication he had to his men, and was sent several times throughout his career.
“He did several tours,” said Steve. “He loved leading men and taking care of them. He lost one man and it bothered him so much that he dedicated a heroism award in his honor.”
Weston would eventually transfer to the Marine Corps Reserves and later joined the Drug Enforcement Agency. In 2009 he served in Afghanistan as a DEA agent and died in a helicopter crash while returning from a counter-narcotics mission in western Afghanistan.
McConnell said Weston could have done anything with his life, but instead decided to take the commitment of being a Marine.
“Not many people have the pedigree he did and also joined the Marine Corps,” McConnell said. “I joined as a private in my boot camp platoon. We didn’t have anyone who was a Harvard law graduate, so it’s pretty neat that he did that.”
McConnell said he credits the Marines at the LSST for the coordination of the ceremony and everyone who attended in honor of Weston.
“It took a couple of months to get everything tied together,” said McConnell. “Really that was effort mostly executed by the Marines of the LSST. I think in the end, you got a ceremony that was fitting for such an honorable man and I’m grateful that we had so many friends and family here to dedicate this courtroom to him.”