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Marine ends three-decade career with horse and buggy ride

By Marti Gatlin | Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany | December 4, 2014


After serving under five commanders-in-chief, nine commandants of the Marine Corps and eight sergeants major of the Marine Corps, Master Gunnery Sgt. Carlotta Moore recently retired in style when she rode away with her family in a white carriage pulled by a white horse.

Waving and pumping her fist, the Marine’s befitting exit followed her retirement ceremony on Schmid Field after three decades of service to her country.

In front of her husband, two daughters, parents, sister, Marines, civilian-Marines, two boot camp buddies and friends, the manpower/adjutant chief with Marine Corps Logistics Command received several retirement letters and an American flag from her retiring officer, LOGCOM’s commanding general, Maj. Gen. John J. Broadmeadow.

Broadmeadow with Sgt. Maj. Joseph M. Davenport, LOGCOM’s sergeant major, by his side, presented retirement letters from President Barack Obama; former 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett. The American flag was flown in Afghanistan and presented to Moore for her honorable and faithful service to the country and to the Marine Corps.

“Today is a celebration that started in 1985 when Carlotta (then) Davis stepped off the bus on the yellow footprints at (Marine Corps Recruit Depot) Parris Island, (South Carolina),” Broadmeadow said, emphasizing his role in the retirement ceremony was to tell the story of a warrior of 30 years and her accomplishments.

The master gunnery sergeant was instrumental in supporting Marines all over the globe, applied everything she’s done to LOGCOM’s mission here, has a storied history with All-Marine basketball, dedicated lots of her time to youth and taken her other God-given talents to serve others, the commanding general noted.

He also thanked Moore’s family for their years of support and then praised the Youngstown, Ohio, native for her dedicated service.

“(This is) our day to say thank you,” the retiring official said. “Thank you for all the lives of countless Marines you’ve touched. Thank you for all you’ve done.”

Guest speaker, retired Chief Warrant Officer 4 Stephen Pearson, who served with Moore from 2005-2010 at U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Tamp, Florida, portrayed her as a phenomenal Marine who has done a tremendous job.

“In my opinion, she’s a pioneer; she’s done so much — playing basketball, going to combat and leading Marines,” Pearson said.

After Broadmeadow’s and Pearson’s accolades, Moore recounted several stories of her 30-year Marine Corps journey, which included engaging the audience to participate.

“My theme for today is ‘I started from the bottom, now I am here,’ she said. “For my retirement ceremony, I am going to do things a little bit differently, I am requesting audience participation. Every time you hear me say, ‘I started from the bottom, you say ‘now I am here.’”

The 5-foot-8-inch Marine spoke about the unique highlights of her career such as the 19 times during 1986-2010 when she played All-Marine basketball as well as numerous times on interservice teams.

In addition to playing basketball, Moore earned an associate’s degree in economics at the University of Hawaii, an associate’s degree in business and a bachelor’s of liberal arts degree, both from Excelsior College, Albany, New York.

She described the most thrilling moments of being a Marine when she served at Camp Joyce, Afghanistan in 2006.

“Most exciting and daring was Afghanistan,” Moore reminisced. “I really felt like ‘GI Jane.’ I got to fire every weapon, climb one of the highest mountains in Afghanistan, fly in a Chinook and was the gun man out the window, transported Taliban prisoners, rode in many convoys and sat in the Turk — that’s the top of the Humvee. I received my combat action ribbon and got promoted on the highest mountain to master sergeant.” 

During her worldwide career, Moore also served in Jacksonville, North Carolina; Beaufort, South Carolina; Iwakuni and Okinawa, Japan; Hawaii; Pensacola and Tampa, Florida; and finally Albany, Georgia.

“There is no special formula to being the best Marine you can be, it comes from inside your heart,” she said. “Nothing is ever given to you, it is earned. Everyone’s journey will not be the same, some will be easy, some will be hard, but it’s not how you start the race, it’s how you finish. ‘I started from the bottom, now I am here.’”

Moore praised Marines and civilian-Marines who supported her as well as her family — her “stronghold from day one.”

“I want to thank all of you (who) have made my journey easier and light, spoken words of encouragement, lent me a listening ear or just a smile to make it through the day,” she concluded.