LANCASTER - Charles Sather, a community service officer assigned to the sheriff's Lancaster Station, learned Saturday that he received a promotion from the U.S. Marine Corps more than 40 years ago, the department announced Wednesday.

Deputy Mike Ruiz, who works at the station, was picked to select a guest of honor for a formal ball honoring the United States Marine Corps on its 237th birthday.

Ruiz, a former Marine staff sergeant, selected Sather, who served in the Marine Corps from 1966 to 1970 as an artilleryman, as the guest of honor. Sather served two combat tours in Vietnam and was decorated with two Purple Hearts for injuries he sustained in 1968.

Sather was discharged from the Marines in 1970 and transferred to inactive reserve status with the rank of sergeant, or so he thought.

However, Ruiz discovered Sather had been promoted to staff sergeant.

At the ball, held in Ventura County Saturday, Sather was honored in front of 250 Marines, his daughter Danielle and son-in-law Brian, and formally promoted to staff sergeant.