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A ‘Day’ to remember: Civil servant retires after nearly four decades of service to country

By Marti Gatlin | | September 4, 2014

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After nearly four decades of military and civil service that spanned at least 10 of the United States’ conflicts and wars, Fred Day ended a calling on Aug. 28 that was mainly spent preparing the warfighter for conflict.

Marines, civilian-Marines, family members and contractors bid farewell to the project officer, Global Combat Support Systems Marine Corps, Logistics Information Systems, Marine Corps Systems Command, during a retirement ceremony at the Chapel of the Good Shepherd, here.

Shirley Lemon, product manager, GCSS-MC, LIS, MARCORSYSCOM, officiated over Day’s retirement ceremony. Maj. Robert Brady, officer-in-charge, MARCORSYSCOM Albany, assisted as she pinned a Meritorious Civilian Service Medal on Day and also presented him with various certificates, letters and two national ensigns.

One national ensign was flown over the United States Marine Corps War Memorial, Arlington, Virginia, and the other one over Coffman Hall, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Georgia.

Day received a letter from President Barack Obama; a letter from Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps; as well as a retirement certificate and letter from Brig. Gen. Joseph Shrader, commander, MARCORSYSCOM.

Mike Mimms, assistant program manager logistics, GCSS-MC, Stafford, Virginia, presented Day with a GCSS-MC commander’s coin.

Day’s wife, Judy, received a certificate of appreciation and a bouquet of flowers.

Lemon and other civilian-Marines, who served with Day, commended him for his service to the Corps and the nation.

“Fred is an outstanding employee (who) all the way through today has taken his job very seriously and always put the Marines and what they need in the forefront of his actions,” Lemon said, who has known Day for 13 years.

“Fred has been a supply systems analyst,” she added. “He has made contributions to several systems. He’s been the systems analyst for the War Reserve System. That is the automated system that helps calculate what the Marines need for different war scenarios so we can make sure we have the right equipment, the right supplies, etc., to support the scenario if and when they go to war.

“Fred, from the bottom of my heart, thank you and enjoy your truly well-deserved retirement,” Lemon said.

Day’s military career began in 1962 in the U.S. Air Force. After basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas, B47 aircraft training at Amarillo, Texas, followed. He then served as an aircraft mechanic and assistant crew chief on B52 aircraft at Turner Air Force Base, Albany, Georgia. Three years and 10 months later, his military service ended there as an assistant crew chief on B52 aircraft.

Day then worked for Rockwell International Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation in 1966 as an aircraft inspector.

In 1982, his storied civilian-Marine career began here as a logistics inventory specialist in the War Reserve Branch and ended 33 years later as a project officer.

His decades of military and civilian service occurred during conflicts and wars such as the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, Grenada, Operation Restore Hope Somalia, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom Kuwait.

“Mr. Fred Day has 36 years of exceptional federal service, which includes military service with the United States Air Force and civilian service with the Marine Corps,” Brenda Hines, chief, Legacy Systems Branch, GCSS-MC, LIS, MARCORSYSCOM, said.

“During his career, his efforts of providing automated solutions to meet business needs have reduced operational planning processes by thousands of hours, increased forecasting accuracy and labor reductions,” she noted.

“He was an exceptional project manager for the War Reserve System as well as a number of other logistics automated information systems, including logistics data repository and stock control system,” Hines said. “His honorable and dedicated service is greatly appreciated by the command, the Marine Corps and the Navy. He will be missed.”

Day thanked all who attended his retirement to include his family and his pastor, Rev. Ken Chancellor, Lakeside Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia, who provided the invocation and closing prayer for the ceremony. 

Day, originally from Tennessee Ridge, Tennessee, has been married to his wife for 48 years.

She and their daughter, Kimberly McLain; son-in-law, Chip McLain; granddaughter, Sydney McLain; and grandson, Chase McLain; spread out on the chapel’s first pew to listen and photograph the ceremony.

Day stressed the importance of his family’s support during his illustrious career.

“(My wife has) always been there to support me regardless of what decisions I’ve made,” Day said. “She stands by me.”

Prior to his retirement, he spoke about their son, the late Fred Day Jr.

“He was very important in our lives,” Day said. “When I thank my wife, my daughter and my grandkids for being here, it’s hard to realize that my son’s not sitting there, too, to be a part of it and I regret that. I wish he could be here to see this. He’s gone on to be with the Lord.”

The Albany, Georgia, resident emphasized he will miss the military members, civil servants and contractors he’s worked with over the years.

“It’s really been an honor for me to have worked for the Marine Corps (to) develop, plan and maintain systems that directly support that warfighter,” Day said. “I have enjoyed every minute of it.”

Although he has no immediate retirement plans, Day said he will spend time with his family, travel as well as go fishing and deer hunting.

“I’m very happy for him,” Judy said. “Fred is such a fine man and so focused on his family. It’s time for him to take some time for himself and enjoy things he enjoys doing.”


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