MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - -- When Richard Hine, a counsel aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, said his goodbyes there were no sad faces. Even Hine wore a grin throughout his final days at the East Area Counsel Office.
“You should be smiling when you retire,” said Hine.
In the wake of Hine’s retirement the goodbyes were heartfelt, full of laughs and good wishes. After all, it was the conclusion of a military career he lived and breathed for more than 30 years since his late 20’s when he left the world of a high school teacher behind and entered the world of the Marine Corps.
“I wanted to continue teaching, but I reached a point where I looked at where I wanted to be in five or 10 years,” said Hine.
Many of Hine’s friends planted the seed of military service in his mind by joining the Navy. However, it was a Marine Corps recruiter who fostered its growth. When Hine met his recruiter, he stood head and shoulders above the other branches recruiters’. It was more than a clean cut appearance and a fancy uniform that appealed to Hine; the recruiter was honest and direct, said Hine. He never misled him about the difficult path he was choosing.
The former physical education teacher and sports coach took to the challenge and became an infantry officer utilizing skills he previously learned to help develop his Marines.
Years later, Hine found a new path and began to study law. Law opened new doors for Hine, he met his wife at law school and served as a judge advocate for four years. He later became special assistant to the counsel of the commandant of the Marine Corps.
Ten years into his new career, Hine decided to use his experience in law to continue to serve the Marine Corps in a new way.
“I got off of active duty, and the next day I was putting on a suit and working as the counsel,” said Hine.
Around this time Hine went to East Area Counsel Office, the business and commercial side of law aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, where he spent the remainder of his career.
While judge advocates handle what military-issues such as courts martial and legal assistance, EACO handles a different side of law such as federal property, contracting, fiscal, labor, environmental and land-use law.
What Hine is going to miss the most are the people he shared decades with his peers.
“I had the opportunity to work with great people and see them grow,” said Hine. “I feel very privileged and honored.”
Throughout his career, Hine’s family was always been a priority and with his retirement they will continue to serve as the forefront of his life. He intends on moving away and to stay active with golf and the miles of trails available in San Diego.