MTSU Aerospace Pro Pilot Grad Becomes 6th in Family to Join Marine Corps

One of the newest members of the U.S. Marine Corps has a proud family history in this military branch.

Recent Middle Tennessee State University graduate Isaac Wehner of Medina, Tennessee, near Jackson, was commissioned as a second lieutenant recently in a special ceremony at the Donald McDonald Hangar at MTSU’s Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport.

Commissioning ceremonies are a tradition for students in Platoon Leaders Class (the Marines version of ROTC), as they transition from the university to being a member of the military and serving their country.

An Aerospace professional pilot major and flight instructor, Wehner will report to Quantico, Virginia, for six months of basic school. As a pilot, he will eventually transition to the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida, for flight training.

Wehner becomes the sixth family member and third generation to join the Marines. His father, John Wehner, an MTSU alumnus (Class of 1985) with a degree in business administration, retired as a lieutenant colonel. Older brother Sam Wehner commissioned into the Marine Corps in May 2021.

The late Robert J. Wehner retired as a master sergeant with the Marines. He was part of the security team at Camp David in Maryland in the late 1950s and early ’60s, during the final two years of President Dwight Eisenhower’s administration and the first two years of John F. Kennedy’s presidency.

Suzanne Wehner, Isaac’s mother, is a former lieutenant commander in the Navy Nurse Corps and a former MTSU student.

Suzanne and John Wehner presided over the May 20 ceremony, with family, friends and various MTSU faculty and administrators attending.

“It’s my grandfather’s birthday,” Isaac Wehner said, reflecting on what the day meant to him. “He passed away when I was really young. Both my brother and I from a very young age decided we were going to go into the Marine Corps.”

Four years ago at a Marine recruiting office, Wehner determined that he would commission on May 20 since it was both his grandfather’s birth date and the date he passed away at age 80, “so it really worked out for me,” he said.

Wehner said everyone attending his commissioning “helped me out. Professors wrote letters of recommendation to get into the program. They did a fantastic job of teaching me, getting me ready for the next step and providing a good example.”

Aerospace is one of 11 departments in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences.

Recent MTSU graduate Isaac Wehner, left, receives his first salute as a newly commissioned second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps from Sgt. Jason Pickard, a friend and fellow alumnus, May 20 at the Donald McDonald Hangar at MTSU’s Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport. Both graduated from the MTSU aerospace program’s pro pilot concentration. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)
Certified MTSU flight school instructor and MTSU alumni Isaac Wehner receiving his U.S. Marine Corp. Lieutenant commission at a ceremony in the McDonald hanger at the Murfreesboro Airport being pinned by his former Marine and alumni parents.
Retired U.S. Marine Lt. Col. John Wehner, left, and former U.S. Navy Nurse Corps member Suzanne Wehner pin gold bars onto their son Isaac Wehner’s uniform May 20 in the Donald McDonald Hangar at MTSU’s Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport. The commissioning ceremony commemorated Isaac Wehner becoming a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps. He is the sixth in his family to become a Marine. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)
Family, friends and MTSU faculty and administrators attend the May 20 commissioning ceremony for aerospace professional pilot major Isaac Wehner of Medina, Tenn. He commissioned as a second lieutenant into the U.S. Marine Corps in the ceremony held in the Donald McDonald Hangar at MTSU’s Flight Operations Center at Murfreesboro Airport. (MTSU photo by J. Intintoli)

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