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LOGCOM master gunnery sergeants retire

3 Jun 2010 | Nathan L. Hanks Jr.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Gerry Anthony Williams

The operations chief, Logistics Operation Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command, was retired during a ceremony held at Schmid Field, May 21 after serving 30 years.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Gerry Anthony Williams enlisted in the Marine Corps as a reservist in November 1979 under the Delayed Entry Program. He was assigned to 4th Supply Battalion, Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Raleigh, N.C., where he attended monthly training drills until graduating from John Graham High School in Warrenton, N.C., in June 1980.

Upon graduating from high school, Williams immediately went to recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C.

Williams, a native of Elams, N.C., completed the basic supply stock control course at Camp Johnson, Camp Lejeune, N.C., thereby earning a supply administration and operations clerk military occupational specialty.

Williams then returned to Raleigh, N.C., where he was promoted to private first class in December 1980 during a week in training session. He then volunteered for active duty in January 1981 and received orders to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif.

Since then, Williams has served at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., 3rd Marine Division, Okinawa, Japan, and twice here in Albany, Ga.

He has also served in additional billets including Marine Security Guard in Egypt and West Germany, Independent Inspector and Instructor duty in Indianapolis, and recruiting duty in Los Angeles.

During the ceremony, Col. Jeffrey Hooks, director, LOC, LOGCOM, spoke about service, obligation and tradition.

“There are 1,658 E-9s in the entire Marine Corps. There are 519 sergeants major and 1,139 master gunnery sergeants of Marines. There are three hundred million Americans in this country. That says it all. He (Williams) is at the top of his game,” he said.

“It’s our obligation to honor these two Marines today,” said Hooks, referring to Master Gunnery Sgts. Gerry and Andrew Williams. “This ceremony is as much to say goodbye to the Marines that have served, but for the young Marines and sailors to understand that this is one of the traditions that make the Marine Corps special and a brotherhood unlike any other.

“Master gunnery sergeant Williams, you have left the Marine Corps better than it was when you came in. Now it is our job to continue that,” Hooks said.

After Hooks’ remarks, Williams thanked his family, friends, the Albany Marine Band and Marines in formation.

“I am grateful to have been able to have served along with these Marines and individuals of this caliber,” Williams said.

“We all are going to move on to something different whether we choose to or it is chosen for us,” he said. “This is the time for me to move on to something different.”

During the ceremony, Williams was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Certificate of Retirement and a Certificate of Appreciation.

Career highlights

April 1981: Meritoriously promoted to lance corporal.

November 1982: Meritoriously promoted to sergeant.

January 1983: Marine Security Guard duty at American Embassy Cario, Egypt, and American Embassy Bonn, West Germany.

October 1988: Inspector and Instructor Staff duty at Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Center in Indianapolis.

May 1997: Recruiting duty at Marine Corps Recruiting Station, Los Angeles.

December 2004: Promoted to master gunnery sergeant at 3rd Marine Division in Okinawa, Japan.

November 2008: Served as operations chief, LOC, LOGCOM, until retirement.

Master Gunnery Sgt. Andrew Williams

Most boys under the age of 10, don’t think about what they want to be when they grow up.

However, Master Gunnery Sgt. Andrew Williams, maintenance management chief, Maintenance Management Center, Marine Corps Logistics Command, was the exception.

Williams desired to join the Marine Corps was when he first saw a Marine Corps recruitment commercial at the age of nine. When he was 15 years old, he went to a recruiting office and tried to enlist, only to be told that he was not yet old enough to join their ranks, but to stay in touch.

At the age of 17, he had his parents sign for him to become a Marine as part of the Delayed Entry Program, June 24, 1986. A year later, after graduating from Waycross High School in 1987, Williams attended recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. This was his first time leaving the state of Georgia.

In his 23-year career, the native of Waycross, Ga., has traveled the world serving in many billets from embarkation clerk as a private first class with 1st Landing Support Battalion, Camp Pendleton, Calif., to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Iraq, to maintenance management chief as a master gunnery sergeant at MMC, LOGCOM.

“The Marine Corps has been my family for a long time,” Williams said. “The Marine Corps has taught me about brotherhood, and today I think about those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for me to be here. I am blessed.”

During his speech, Williams recounted his deployment to Somalia in support of Operation Restore Hope.

“I had a real close call in Somalia when working on the pier and a round fired by a Somalia sniper narrowly missed my head,” he said. “To this day, I swear that I actually saw, heard and felt the round go past my head. I know that if it were not for the training of great leaders I had in the Marine Corps, both officers and SNCOs (staff noncommissioned officers), I would not be here today.”

Williams thanked those who gathered for the ceremony and the Marines in formation.

“It’s hard to say goodbye, but I know this is the right thing to do,” he said. “I have no regrets. I am just grateful and honored to have been able to have served.”

Williams’s retiring official was Col. Terry W. Reid, commanding officer, Headquarters Group East, LOGCOM.

“Master gunnery sergeant Williams’ 23 years of service has been felt all across the Marine Corps. During his career, he has stood the watch on multiple unit deployments including standing in harms way in Somalia and in Iraq,” Reid said. “To my fellow Marine, there are few higher callings than placing yourself in harm’s way for the sake of others, and in doing so, you have made your family proud. You have also made the Marine Corps proud.”

Williams was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, received an American flag and Certificate of Appreciation and transferred to the Fleet Marine Corps Reserve.

Career highlights

June 24, 1986: Enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 17.

November 1991: Deployed in support of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and humanitarian relief efforts in Bangladesh.

February 1993: Deployed in support of Operation Restore Hope, Somalia.

November 1999: Promoted to gunnery sergeant and received orders to sea duty aboard the USS Essex.

April 2003: Deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

July 2005: Received orders to Headquarters and Support Company, 8th & I, Marine Barracks Washington, D.C.

August 2008: Promoted to master gunnery sergeant and assigned to MMC, LOGCOM.

Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany