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Decorated career Marine joins retirees in civilian life

By Verda L. Parker | | August 28, 2014

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In a retirement speech, which left many of the attendees in tears, a Marine operations and training chief, said farewell to the Corps, the command and ended a 23 year active-duty career.

Master Sgt. Mark Carabello, assigned to the Operations and Training Division, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, joined the ranks of retired service members in a ceremony held at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, here, Monday.

Speaking about his work experience and time on the installation, Carabello said it was hard to put into words his tour of duty here.

“It’s been a phenomenal experience,” Carabello said. “Many of the places that you go, it’s not always about the location; some are more exotic than others.

“Albany may not be that exotic, but it certainly makes up for it with the people that live in this area and work on this base,” he said. “The people that I have met and worked with here, I just can’t put (those feelings) into words.”

In Carabello’s four years at the installation, he has worked under the leadership of two commanding officers, three executive officers and four sergeants major.

Recalling that history and that reflection brought the master sergeant to sadness as he explained how the transition from military to civilian life is impacting him emotionally.

“It’s kind of bittersweet and I’m sad,” Carabello shared. “I’m also excited and a little nervous; I’m ready for a new challenge.

“The things I have experienced and learned throughout my career have made me a better   person and have prepared me to make that     transition, and hopefully, I’ll be a better member of society once I do get back to civilian life,” he said.

The master sergeant offered parting words to those Marines he has led, mentored and will remain to carry on after his retirement.

“I tell them every day, ‘Come to work to work. Do your best; work hard; manage your time; be organized; communicate and get as much out of this experience as you can,” he said. “Whether you stay for four years, 20 or 30 years, do as much as you can so that when it’s time to move on you won’t have any regrets.’”

Carabello’s replacement, Master Sgt. Roberto Nolasco, operations and training chief, Operations and Training Division, MCLB Albany, has worked with Carabello for the past few weeks and discussed his experience.

“He’s an intense guy,” Nolasco admitted. “He definitely knows what’s going on and you can see that emulating around him. The minute he walks into the office, it’s always, ‘Hey, what’s going on? Give me a heads up on this or let me follow up on that.’”

In citing some of the specifics of a typical day for Carabello, Nolasco rattled off a list of details he has witnessed the “meticulous” master sergeant carry out in his duties.

Nolasco said observing Carabello at work is like watching him “turn a switch on and off.” He may ask one of the staff noncommissioned officers-in-charge of the rifle range a series of questions related to the range, while asking another about the martial arts training, and without missing a beat, he’ll turn to another Marine asking how the funeral detail went.

“Really, with him, it’s non-stop,” he added. “It is very detailed and with as much stuff that’s been on his plate, it’s been amazing just watching him handle all sorts of things and not even missing a beat. With the amount of knowledge he has, it’s just amazing.”

According to Nolasco, Carabello showed up on the day of his retirement following up on details for some of the upcoming events.

“He wasn’t even supposed to be here,” Nolasco pointed out. “So, you can tell he is going to be missed. The Marines are going to miss his leadership and his mentoring along with that.”

At his retirement, Carabello was awarded several certificates and commendations including a Meritorious Service Medal, a certificate of retirement, a certificate of appreciation from President Barack H. Obama and an American flag, which was flown in his honor at Recruit Training Regiment, Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, South Carolina.

Carabello’s wife, three children, his mother, one of two sisters, other special guests and friends were among the witnesses, who attended the ceremony.
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