FORT WORTH, TX --
The Commandant’s Trophy was established to recognize superior academic performance, physical ability and exceptional leadership skills. The 8th Marine Corps District Commanding Officer had the privilege of recognizing United States Marine Corps Candidate Thomas E. Henderson as the recipient of The Commandants Trophy for his notable leadership and superior accomplishments.
The Keller, Texas native is currently a senior and studies Theology at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Benton, Texas. At school, he serves as the Student Foundation president as well as in ministry roles both on campus and in the community.
In the spring of 2021, Candidate Henderson was selected for the Platoon Leadership Class (PLC), an undergraduate commissioning program which allows full-time college students to pursue a commissioning in the Marine Corps without interrupting the academic school year. During his time in the PLC program he attended Officer Candidates School (OCS) in Quantico, Virginia twice between his junior and senior years for six weeks at a time. Throughout the combined 12 weeks of training, he distinguished himself and ultimately was able to set himself apart finishing first overall out of all the graduating candidates and was selected as their honor graduate.
“OCS was tough but if you set your mind to it you can do it. Finishing at a high level is difficult because overall scores are within tenths of a point. You’re rarely the best at each event so you have to be consistent and not give up,” said Henderson.
Col. Warren Cook Jr., the Commanding Officer of the 8th Marine Corps District, was in attendance to present Candidate Henderson with the award at Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Crusader Stadium. He said “I was honored to present the young leader with the award.”
“I found out I was receiving that award about three of four days before graduating OCS, I took some time to myself outside of the squad-bay just to take it all in. The only thing that I could think about was how proud my parents were going to be and the look on their faces when they found out,” said Henderson.
Candidate Henderson is one of seven candidates nationwide to receive the Commandant’s Trophy. In addition to a certificate Candidate Henderson will be receiving, the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor will also be receiving recognition for their outstanding preparation of students.
Henderson is scheduled to graduate with his degree on December 2, 2022 and will be receiving his commission as a 2nd lieutenant in the Marine Corps on December 16, 2022. While serving in the Marine Corps he’s looking forward to learning and building lasting relationships with his Senior Enlisted Marines and Officers.