SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The U.S. Marine Corps promoted 1st Lt. James A. Murtha to the rank of captain during a ceremony aboard the amphibious assault ship USS John P. Murtha (LPD 26), June 1.
Murtha is the grandnephew of the ship's namesake and received the officer's oath from his father, retired Col. Brian Murtha.
The ship is named in honor of John P. Murtha, who served 37 years in the Marine Corps, earning two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star with Valor during his service. He later represented Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District for over 20 years until his death in 2010.
"It's a honor to be promoted to captain in the Marine Corps when uncle Jack [John P. Murtha] was also in the Marine Corps," said Murtha. "To get promoted on his ship, is an absolute honor and privilege."
These types of opportunities are rare within any branch of the military.
"The crew and myself are all really proud to be able to be able to hold this promotion ceremony for Captain Murtha," said Navy Capt. Kevin Parker, Murtha's commanding officer. "It's really special for us to have a Murtha family member here and to see the family continuing the commitment to serving the country and making a difference."
The Murtha is currently home ported in San Diego and hosted members of Murtha's family, Marines from his battalion and Sailors from the ship's crew.
Murtha has been a commissioned officer for five years and is currently a series commander with the first recruiting battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
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