Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany --
After more than 31 years of faithful service, Col. Edward R. Cawthon, director of the Distribution Management Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command, retired from active duty in a ceremony held at Schmid Field May 8.
The ceremony, which took place on a hot and humid southern Georgia afternoon, was attended by Maj. Gen. Willie J. Williams, commanding general, LOGCOM, and guest speaker Brig. Gen. Michael G. Dana, director for Logistics, J-4, Headquarters, North American Aerospace Defense Command, as well as Marines, civilian-Marines, family and colleagues.
“I’ve been fortunate my entire career by having great leaders,” Cawthon told the large crowd of well-wishers. “I was raised by Vietnam vets when I was younger, and that’s who trained me. I had outstanding leadership. All in all, I was very fortunate in my career.”
Cawthon, a graduate from Murray State University, Murray, Ky., was commissioned as an infantry officer in 1981, and held numerous platoon and company commander billets. As a captain, he was assigned the primary military occupational specialty of 0402, Logistics Officer and completed the Logistics Officer Course.
His assignments thereafter included deployments for contingency operations in the Republic of Panama, served in Operation Sharp Edge in Liberia, Africa and Operation Desert Shield/Storm.
As a major, he deployed to Brunnsum, Netherlands, to plan the withdrawal of United Nations forces in the Republic of Yugoslavia and participated in Operation Joint Endeavor. While he attended the Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., where he received his Master’s Degree in Strategic Science, he was selected for promotion to the rank of colonel.
He served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation United Assistance in Indonesia. In May 2006, he received orders to LOGCOM where he will officially retire June 1.
Speaking before his fellow Marines and family, Cawthon noted the civilian workforce aboard the base.
“It really warms my heart to see what the civilian-Marines do,” he said. “There’s a goal to them that I’ve never seen before that they’re here for their country. They’re patriots.”
The retirement ceremony ended with the Albany Marine Band playing the song “My Old Kentucky Home” in a farewell to Cawthon followed by the Marine’s Hymn and a very fitting Anchors Aweigh.