MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. --
Cedric P. Robinson, computer specialist, Customer Service and Audio-visual Support Center, Computer Information Systems Branch, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, retired Jan. 29 with 35 years of service to the Marine Corps.
Robinson became interested in computers and technology because of technical classes that were offered at John Herbert Phillips High School in Birmingham, Ala. After taking a series of data processing classes, he graduated with computer skills and a natural talent for technology, which has served him well during his career with the Marine Corps.
Robinson graduated from high school in 1972 and worked various jobs before joining the Marine Corps. In February 1974, he went to recurite training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.
He attended training at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms and Marine Corps Air Station El Toro both in California, and then transferred to Marine Corps Base Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. In March 1977, he was transferred to Marine Corps Supply Center Albany where he was later discharged from active duty.
“I married my wife of 32 years, Grace, in December 1977 after getting out of the Marine Corps. We were waiting on her to graduate that June from Albany State College so we could move back to Birmingham,” he said. “I had to come back out here to get my W-2 forms and the rest is history.”
Robinson began his career as a civilian-Marine February 1978 while working in what was then called the automated services center at Resources Management Directorate, Marine Corps Logistics Support Base Atlantic.
“My job was to wire the boards to tell the electronic automated machines what to do. As a computer operator, I was responsible for mounting tapes and monitoring processing systems at night for eight years. From there, I went to work in a new section called Problem Resolution. Our job was to solve problems with the different processes being used here,” he said.
Robinson worked for the next 15 years in process analysis, which he calls his ‘best’ years here. His job was to help troubleshoot the computer processes for the Marine Corps with Command, Control, Computers and Communications section.
“I previously worked in asset management as a buyer for what is now known as LOGCOM. Once all of our jobs were combined and some of the duties were split between base and LOGCOM in 2005, I became a base employee and took on the added responsibility of audiovisual support specialist. I have held both jobs for the last several years,” he said.
Lori Farr, deputy director, Communications and Information Systems Division, MCLB Albany, said Robinson has been a mainstay at MCLB Albany. His excellent customer service and positive can-do attitude could always be counted on.
“Cedric always seems to have a smile on his face and a positive word to say to all he meets. He strives to provide support above and beyond expectations and his customers have provided feedback on their appreciation for his efforts. It has been a pleasure working with him and he will really be missed,” she said.
Nikk Nicholson, IT specialist, CISD, has worked with and supervised Robinson for seven years and described him as the most forthcoming, motivated, caring, God-fearing and unassuming person he has had the pleasure to work with.
“Cedric would bend over backwards to serve our client base. In his mind we could never tell the client “no,” or that is not possible. This was sometimes met by other challenges which would turn into a lessons learned situation, and ultimately helped his section grow by revealing discrepancies that existed in equipment limits or standard operating procedures that needed to be developed,” he said.
Robinson describes his tenure here as both bad and good. He said there were some turbulent years and explained that he went through a lot, both personally and professionally.
“It is just a blessing that the Lord has allowed me to come this far and see this day. There were a lot of things that I did that I am not proud of, but I made it to my retirement and am no longer ashamed. The last 12 years have been good for me and it was only by the grace of God and the few people that saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” he said.
When asked about his fondest memory, he laughed and said it was being in love with a girl he couldn’t stand, Virginia D. Williams, telephone branch head, CISD.
“Virginia Williams and I have been together, as co-workers and friends, my whole time here and people thought for years that we were a couple. We fussed and argued every day, but I didn’t let anybody mistreat her and she did the same for me. We could fight all day and still be there for each other, including keeping each other’s children. She has become one of my best friends and I will definitely miss her, but will still see her every week because we go to church together,” he said. “I owe a lot of my experiences here to her.”
Williams said, “Cedric has been a true friend. We have worked together since 1977. He always believed in teaching others and showing them how to do a particular job by sharing his knowledge. We always backed each other up and I consider him more like my brother. He would always tell me I remind him of his wife because I never hesitated to set him straight, when needed. We’ve been through good and bad times and I consider him to be more than a friend. Cedric is like family. I was here when he came and now I am seeing him leave, but we will still be together. For us, it is not goodbye, but see you later.”