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LEATHER, James, MGySgt Personnel, Administration and Retention
 
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Life Member
 
 Service Photo 
 Service Details
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Current Service Status
USMC Retired
Current/Last Rank
Master Gunnery Sergeant
Current/Last Primary MOS
0141-Personnel/Administration
Current/Last MOSGroup
Personnel, Administration and Retention
Previously Held MOS
0100-Basic MOS
0142-Administrative Man
9999-Sergeant Major/First Sergeant
Current/Last Unit
1966-1975, 0141, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)/Manpower & Reserve Affairs
Service Years
1945 - 1975
Unofficial USMC Certificates
Cold War Certificate
Golden Dragon Certificate
Voice Edition

Master Gunnery Sergeant

 
Seven Hash Marks

 


 Ribbon Bar

Rifle Expert 3rd AwardPistol Sharpshooter

 

 Official Badges 

WW II Honorable Discharge Pin USMC Retired Pin


 Unofficial Badges 

Order of the Golden Dragon US Marines Corps Honorable Discharge Cold War Medal US Navy Honorable Discharge


 Additional Information
What are you doing now:
RETIRED & FISHING EVERY CHANCE I GET! SEPT 2007- COMPLETED MY GOAL OF FISHING IN ALL 50 STATES,PUERTO RICO,BERMUDA AND CANADA BY CLOSING THE LAST STATE ON THE LIST (ALASKA). Vice President and Trustee of Ocean Grove Fishing Club: Chairman of OGFC YOUTH SUMMER PROGRAM. (Teaching kids 7-14 about fishing):
   
Other Comments:
LIFE MEMBER TWS Life Member 1stMarDiv Assoc: Member Marine Corps Assoc: Member Marine Corps League Member The Naval Heritage Center: Member Marine Corps Heritage Foundation: Member American Littoral Society: 

   
 Countries Deployed To or Visited

MY WORLD VISITS

Svalbard Spain United States of America Antarctica South Georgia Falkland Islands Bolivia Peru Ecuador Colombia Venezuela Guyana Suriname French Guiana Brazil Paraguay Uruguay Argentina Chile Greenland Canada United States of America United States of America Israel Jordan Cyprus Qatar United Arab Emirates Oman Yemen Saudia Arabia Iraq Afghanistan Turkmenistan Iran Syria Singapore China Mongolia Papua New Guinea Brunei Indonesia Malaysia Malaysia Tiawan Philippines Vietnam Cambodia Laos Thailand Burma Bangladesh Sri Lanka India Bhutan Nepal Pakistan Afghanistan Turkmenistan Tajikistan Kyrgyzstan Uzbekistan Japan North Korea South Korea Russia Kazakhstan Russia Montenegro Portugal Azerbaijan Armenia Georgia Ukraine Moldova Belarus Romania Bulgaria Macedonia Serbia Bosonia & Herzegovina Turkey Greece Albania Croatia Hungary Slovakia Slovenia Malta Spain Portugal Spain France Italy Italy Austria Switzerland Belgium France Ireland United Kingdom Norway Sweden Finland Estonia Latvia Lithuania Russia Poland Czech Republic Germany Denmark The Netherlands Iceland El Salvador Guatemala Panama Costa Rica Nicaragua Honduras Belize Mexico Trinidad & Tobago Puerto Rico Dominican Republic Haiti Jamaica The Bahamas Cuba Vanuatu Australia Solomon Islands Fiji New Caledonia New Zealand Eritrea Ethiopia Djibouti Somalia Kenya Uganda Tanzania Rwanda Burundi Madagascar Namibia Botswana South Africa Lesotho Swaziland Zimbabwe Mozambique Malawi Zambia Angola Democratic Repbulic of Congo Republic of Congo Gabon Equatorial Guinea Central African Republic Cameroon Nigeria Togo Ghana Burkina Fassu Cote d'Ivoire Liberia Sierra Leone Guinea Guinea Bissau The Gambia Senegal Mali Mauritania Niger Western Sahara Sudan Chad Egypt Libya Tunisia Morocco Algeria


Bahamas, TheCanadaIrelandFranceGermanyItalyJapanKorea, SouthMoroccoMexicoPuerto RicoSpainUnited States


 Recruit Training - Trainee/Instructor
  1946, Boot Camp - Parris Island, 879
 Unit Assignments
Other Service Branches/US NavyRecruiting Units/RS New York, NYFormal Schools/Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SCMarine Corps Base Quantico, VA/H&S Bn MCB Quantico
II MEF/2nd Marine DivisionUSS Rockbridge APA-228USMCMarine Corps Bases Pacific/MCRD San Diego, CA
Fleet Marine Force Units/Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)I MEF/1st Marine DivisionFleet Marine Force Units/Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)Marine Barracks
TBS The Basic School/Support Bn TBSMAG-32/H&MS-32Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)/HQ Bn, Henderson HallHeadquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)
  1945-1946, Other Service Branches/US Navy
  1946-1946, Recruiting Units/RS New York, NY
  1946-1946, 0100, Formal Schools/Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC
  1946-1950, 0141, Marine Corps Base Quantico, VA/H&S Bn MCB Quantico
  1950-1951, 0141, 2nd Marine Division/Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune
  1950-1952, 0141, 2nd Marine Division/HQ Bn, 2nd Marine Division
  1951-1951, 0141, USS Rockbridge APA-228
  1951-1951, 0142, USS Mount Olympus (AGC-8)
  1952-1952, 0141, Marine Corps Bases Pacific/MCRD San Diego, CA
  1952-1952, 0141, Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)/Staging Bn
  1952-1952, 9999, USNS Marine Serpent (T-AP-202)
  1952-1953, 0141, 1st Marine Division/1st Combat Service Group FMF
  1953-1953, 0141, Fleet Marine Force Pacific (FMFPAC)/Staging Bn
  1953-1955, 0141, Marine Barracks Portsmouth, NH
  1955-1958, 0141, I&I Staff/I&I Staff Huntington, NY
  1958-1960, 0141, TBS The Basic School/Support Bn TBS
  1960-1962, 0141, MAG-32/H&MS-32
  1962-1966, 0141, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)/HQ Bn, Henderson Hall
  1966-1975, 0141, Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)/Manpower & Reserve Affairs
 Combat and Operations History
  1946-1991 Cold War (1946-1991)/Korean Tension Continues *1
  1952-1952 Korean War/Summer-Fall1
  1953-1953 Korean War/Outpost Battles (Vegas - Reno - Carson)
  1953-1953 Korean War/Berlin Complex1
  1962-1962 Cuban Missile Crisis1
 Military Association Memberships
1st Marine Division AssociationMarine Corps Association and Foundation (MCA&F)Marine Corps Heritage FoundationDetachment 1273
  1962, 1st Marine Division Association [Verified]3
  1966, Marine Corps Association and Foundation (MCA&F) [Verified]2
  2006, Marine Corps Heritage Foundation [Verified]4
  2009, Marine Corps League, Detachment 1273 (Member At Large) (Trenton, New Jersey) [Verified]


 Remembrance Profiles - 22 Marines Remembered
  • THOMASON, JOHN, Col, 1944
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Reflections on MGySgt LEATHER's US Marine Corps Service
 
 Reflections On My Service
 
PLEASE DESCRIBE WHO OR WHAT INFLUENCED YOUR DECISION TO JOIN THE MARINE CORPS?
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - Please describe who or what influenced your decision to join the Marine Corps?After Pearl Harbor most American teenagers were aware that they would be called on to defend our country in some manner of service. The Draft was sure to call up most of them once they reached the age of 18. Most of my school mates voluntarily enlisted immediately after graduation.

While still in high school I joined the Navy Reserve V-5 Program (1945), scheduled to be assigned to a college in 1946. When the war ended the Navy notified me that they were terminating the V-5 (Pilot Training) Program and offered me two choices:

1. Assignment to Active Duty as a Seaman Apprentice for an unspecified time.

2. Honorable Discharge from the Navy.

I took Number 2 and enlisted in the Corps as soon as the Navy issued my discharge.
WHETHER YOU WERE IN THE SERVICE FOR SEVERAL YEARS OR AS A CAREER, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE DIRECTION OR PATH YOU TOOK.
Personnel Administration and Retention along with several assignments as First Sergeant and Sergeant Major.

My first duty station after completing Administration School was Quantico. I reported aboard August 1946 as Private and left March 1950 as SSgt. First job was as clerk for Col W.C Hall, the Post Inspector. I remember MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - Whether you were in the service for several years or as a career, please describe the direction or path you took.at the noon chow formations in front of "H" Barracks where all the BRIG RATS convicted by Court-martial and sentenced to BCD or Dishonorable Discharge stood at attention while the proceedings of the court were read. Then, flanked by two MP's, they were immediately escorted to the main gate and kicked out of our Corps. At that time we had the "Rocks and Shoals", not the UCMJ. THINGS WERE DIFFERENT IN THE OLD CORPS!

My next assignment was 2ndMarDiv. During June 1950, while my comrades were being sent to fill out the 1stMarDiv in Korea, I was hospitalized at USNH Camp Lejeune with a diagnosis of TB in my spine and lungs. After undergoing a spinal fusion, which required many months in a body cast from my neck to my knees and endless shots of streptomycin, I had to appear before a few medical boards which were leaning toward recommending a medical discharge. I objected and with the help of a very understanding Navy doctor I was fitted with a backbrace and released from the hospital. A few weeks later I stowed my brace in my locker, packed my seabag and sailed aboard the USS ROCKBRIDGE with 2nd MarDiv and participated in Division amphibious training in Caribbean.

In 1952 I was assigned to MCRD San Diego as an Investigator, 7th Recruit Training Battalion responsible for re-fingerprinting hundreds of recruits who reported to MCRD with faulty fingerprint records due to carelessness or lack of knowledge concerning proper methods of taking prints by the recruiting offices and Interviewing and verifying the claims of many, many draftees who wished to be classified as conscientious objectors. They all had letters from Pastors, Mayors, Teachers and one Mailman. All stating that Private (fill in the blank) was a pious and devout person and could never take up arms against another human being. I had fairly good success in convincing them (mostly the ones I determined were fakers) to accept their duty to serve in the USMC.

Fond memories of spending most liberty weekends in Tijuana, enjoying the Bull Fights at El Toreo de Tijuana and Jai Lai games at the Jai Lai Palace. Also devouring many Tacos and a few cervezas (mas o menos) before heading back to San Diego. Often I would come upon a Marine or sailor who overloaded his cerveza capacity and was totaly drunk as a skunk. Such individuals were usually picked up by the Mexican Police and put in the Tijuana Jail, which is not a good place to be for anyone. I would get them across the border to the Shore Patrol Office and let them sober up there which was a much safer place than the Tijuana Jail House.


My next assignment was as SgtMaj 3rd Replacement Bn T&RC Camp Pendleton and I was responsible for ensuring that 96 Officers, 2161 Enlisted and 84 Corpsmen, a total of 2341 Troops were transported from Camp Pendleton to San Diego and all loaded aboard the MSTS "Marine Serpent" before pulling up the ladder and shipping out to Korea in September 1952.

Upon arrival in Korea I was designated SgtMaj 1st Combat Service Group. My good old shipmate and buddy MSgt Wilbur Bestwick was assigned as SgtMaj 1st Marine Division FMF at the same time. We served our Korean War tours together until we both boarded the "Marine Serpent" once more at Inchon 2 September 1953 for the voyage stateside as members of the 32nd Rotation Draft,FMF Pacific,Staging Bn:
32nd Rotation Draft Sept. 1953
MSgt Wilbur Bestwick SgtMaj
MSgt Mike Esposito 1stSgt A Co.
MSgt Glenn Morgan 1stSgt B Co.
MSgt James Leather 1stSgt C Co.

I was assigned as SgtMaj MB Portsmouth, NH upon my return from Korea in Sept 1953, relieving SgtMaj Darvie Pugh. I served under two Commanding Officers - LtCol Greenough followed by Maj Lelon Patrow.

NCO's, I can recall were MSgt Hefner, GySgt Kinney, GySgt Chaney SSgt Fields. We had a MB Pistol Team that participated in various matches throughout the New England area with fair results.

Monthly bingo games were held in the mess hall. We had a PX on the second deck, also a small tailor shop operated by a civilian named Cruz. During this period security was of utmost importance. The Nautilus, top secret first atomic submarine was being outfitted for duty. This put a great deal of pressure on all of the Marines guarding the Shipyard. No one was waved through the gate with a salute. Each and every person was required to present their ID card to the sentries, even the Admiral from Boston who issued the regulation and my six day old son, born at the USNH on his trip home.

Another duty we were assigned was to dispatch armed guards to Fort Kent, Maine to pick up deserters, who were apprehended in Canada by the RCMP and kicked across the border and return them to our little Brig for processing. The first words spoken to me by Major Patrow upon assuming command of MB Portsmouth were "Sgt Major your job is to keep me out of the Brig" , to which I replied, " AYE AYE Sir." He was a fine Marine. One of the very best.

I finished my tour at MB Portsmouth in 1955 when I received orders to I&I Staff 5th Supply Co USMCR Huntington NY where I served as 1stSgt until 1958 organizing and assisting the 5TH SUPPLY COMPANY USMCR for their two week summer training periods at Little Creek VA and Albany GA.

The annual "TOYS FOR TOTS" Drives and participation in other local community events, such as flag raising at new Post Offices and escorting "MISS RHIENGOLD" on her tours about the area were required.

In 1958 I was transferred to THE BASIC SCHOOL, Quantico VA. Originally scheduled to go to MCAS Quantico. However, two old timers at TBS (S-1 LtCol Churchville (a Mustang) and MSgt Bliss (the SgtMaj) had great influence at Quantico and after a long interview they had my orders changed. I then became the Administrative Chief of THE BASIC SCHOOL.

1960 -1962 ordered to assume duties as Administrative Chief of MAG-32 MCAS Beaufort SC. I spent many hours getting files and procedures squared away and got things in shape to pass the INSPECTOR GENERAL ADMIN INSPECTION .

1962-1966 Transferred to HqBn HQMC. Served as 1st Sgt Casual Company maintaining records of Marines on individual or special assignments throughout the world. Upon promotion to MGySgt (E-9) I was assigned as HqBn HQMC Personnel Chief . My office was in Henderson Hall, Arlington VA and it came with my own private parking space right outside my office door.

1966-1975 Transferred to FMCR Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC)/Manpower & Reserve Affairs .

On December 1st 1975 I retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. The retirement orders issued placed me on the retired list as:

"SERGEANT MAJOR/ MASTER GUNNERY SERGEANT".
IF YOU PARTICIPATED IN COMBAT, PEACEKEEPING OR HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS, PLEASE DESCRIBE THOSE WHICH WERE THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TO YOU AND, IF LIFE-CHANGING, IN WHAT WAY.
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - If you participated in combat, peacekeeping or humanitarian operations, please describe those which were the most significant to you and, if life-changing, in what way.Yes. The 1st Combat Service Group FMF along with other division units received the Navy Unit Citation for action and support at Bunker Hill, The Hook, Reno, Carson, Vegas from Oct 1952 to Mar 1953 and later July 1953 at Berlin and East Berlin.

July 1953: Beginning of the final battle of the cities of Berlin & Boulder City. Then the Imjin River rose over 11 feet washing away the Spoonbill Bridge. On the 14th and 15th of July the Imjin crested at 26 feet at the Libby Bridge leaving only Freedom Bridge open for the moving of supplies to forward supply points. Marines of Col James A. Moreau's 1st Combat Service Group cursing the rain and mud fought their way through and delivered the much needed ammo, rations and supplies to keep the battle going.
FROM YOUR ENTIRE SERVICE, INCLUDING COMBAT, DESCRIBE THE PERSONAL MEMORIES WHICH HAVE IMPACTED YOU MOST?
AUG 5-DEC 23 1953-"OPERATION BIG SWITCH"

The large and final POW exchange began at Freedom Village near the Imjin River and Freedom Bridge shortly after the cease fire (27JUL53) and went on and on for 5 long months while the UN and Communists argued over who was going where.

There were many MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - From your entire service, including combat, describe the personal memories which have impacted you most?side issues during the exchange which was supervised by neutral Indian Army troops. One being the twenty one USA troops who elected to stay with their communist captors instead of being repatriated. Another was the belligerent, riotous and somewhat admirable military attitude of the hard core communists being repatriated.

On their trip from the POW camps on Koje-Do to the exchange site, they stripped off the utility uniforms issued to them and tossed them from the the trains and trucks along with all other American gear and supplies in their possession. They returned to the other side in skivvies or in some cases naked as Jaybirds.

In September I was rotated to the USA. The ship MARINE SERPENT, leaving Inchon on September 2 1953 contained many Army troops and about 250 1stMarDiv Marines. In addition there were embarked a number of former POWs being returned to the states, who were to be debriefed en-route. Among these was a group of known collaborators, whose presence caused a concern of possible violence and retribution from their fellow POWs.

The Marines aboard were divided into three companies and assigned the duty and responsibility for keeping the debriefing areas and the berthing areas of the former POWs segregated from the other Army troops embarked. In addition, due to previously vocalized threats against them, the POW collaborators were isolated under tight 24 hour security watch, to prevent any of them from disappearing over the side.

The voyage stateside lasted for twenty one days during which the intelligence debriefing teams did their interviews and reports. The 1stMarDiv personnel assigned to the security posts throughout the ship ensured a safe voyage for all troops embarked by allowing no major incidents to occur in the volatile environment present. Finally, to the relief of all concerned we passed under the GOLDEN GATE on September 23 1953, and docked at San Francisco.

32nd Rotation Draft Sept. 1953
MSgt Wilbur Bestwick SgtMaj
MSgt Mike Esposito 1stSgt A Co.
MSgt Glenn Morgan 1stSgt B Co.
MSgt James Leather 1stSgt C Co.
IF YOU RECEIVED ANY MEDALS FOR VALOR OR AWARDS FOR SIGNIFICANT ACHIEVEMENT, PLEASE DESCRIBE HOW THESE WERE EARNED.
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - If you received any medals for valor or awards for significant achievement, please describe how these were earned.Upon completion of my service with 1st Combat Service Group I was awarded the Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Combat "V" for excellent service during operations against the enemy in Korea from 5 October 1952 to 14 August 1953.

This award was made by the Commanding General 1st Marine Division FMF Major General R. Mc. Pate.
OF ALL THE MEDALS, AWARDS, QUALIFICATION BADGES OR DEVICE YOU RECEIVED, PLEASE DESCRIBE THE ONE(S) MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU AND WHY?
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - Of all the medals, awards, qualification badges or device you received, please describe the one(s) most meaningful to you and why?The most meaningful of the medals, awards and qualification badges I have received during my service in the Marine Corps is my EXPERT RIFLEMAN BADGE with three awards. It is the most important to me because I truly believe in that old saying "Every Marine is a Rifleman" regardless of rank or MOS assignments.
WHICH INDIVIDUAL(S) FROM YOUR TIME IN THE MILITARY STAND OUT AS HAVING THE MOST POSITIVE IMPACT ON YOU AND WHY?
The individual person who had the biggest impact on me was, of course,Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Wilbur Bestwick.

I first met Wllbur when he arrived at Camp Pendelton to join the 3rd Replacement Battalion. Since I was already assigned as Battalion SgtMaj, I made him the 1stSgt 24th MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - Which individual(s) from your time in the military stand out as having the most positive impact on you and why?Company of the 3rd Replacement Bn. He accepted the assignment even though he had been a SgtMaj since 1943 and I had been on the job for only two weeks. It was not practical to play musical chairs for the SgtMaj seat as new individuals joined the unit.

After we were all aboard the MARINE SERPENT Wilbur, SgtMaj Mike Esposito, SgtMaj Glenn Morgan and I shared a four man cabin space for the voyage. We spent hours together and the Boot SgtMaj (ME) learned a lot about every thing required to fill the billet. I am grateful to these three Marines, Wilbur in particular, for the knowledge I obtained from them.

They were real old timers and I was 24 years old with only 6 years of service and one hash mark.

As fate would have it we four found ourselves in the same cabin on the same "Marine Serpent" for the return trip to the USA . This time around the roster for the 32nd Rotation Battalion listed MSGT Bestwick as SGTMAJ of the Battalion and MSGT Leather as 1stSGT "C" Company. Once again the class room was open and the lessons continued.

Wilbur Bestwick became the first modern day SgtMaj of the Marine Corps on 23 May 1957. He retired from active duty 1 September 1959.

My shipmate and mentor died 10 July 1972 and was buried at Alta Mesa Memorial Park, Palo Alto California.
CAN YOU RECOUNT A PARTICULAR INCIDENT FROM YOUR SERVICE WHICH MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FUNNY AT THE TIME, BUT STILL MAKES YOU LAUGH?
How I was made a Sergeant Major.

I checked into Camp Pendelton during July 1952 with the rank of Technical Sergeant.

A few days later while seated in the outdoor screened in head, answering a call of nature, I glanced at the deck and saw a dog-eared brown edged page of MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - Can you recount a particular incident from your service which may or may not have been funny at the time, but still makes you laugh?the "Pendelton Scout". I picked it up and read the headline dated 1 June 1952. "HQMC Announces Enlisted Promotions", and there in the middle of the page was my name for promotion to Master Sergeant (Temporary).

I immediately got myself squared away, tightened my belt and headed directly to the 3rd Replacement Battalion HQ tent. There, I presented the crumpled page to Colonel Brady. He had my promotion certificate typed out, signed it and presented it to me. Then he said, "Leather, you are now the SgtMaj of this Battalion."

Factors Affecting This Incident:

A. Upon being transferred from San Diego I was given 40 days leave and authorized to carry my service records by hand.

B. The day before I arrived at Pendleton, the roster for the August Replacements was closed down so I became the first Marine in the September Replacement Draft.

At the age of 24, six years of service and only one hash mark, I was given the position of Battalion SgtMaj. (Most SgtsMaj I knew were old with hash marks from wrist to elbow.)
WHAT PROFESSION DID YOU FOLLOW AFTER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING NOW? IF YOU ARE CURRENTLY SERVING, WHAT IS YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY?
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - What profession did you follow after your military service and what are you doing now? If you are currently serving, what is your present occupational specialty?After completing my service I obtained a position as a Data Processing Operations Manager for a large hospital. The job involved close detailed work with IBM to install the first real time Hospital Information System. I worked there for about 18 Years until it stopped being fun. I now go fishing every chance I get. I did manage to achieve a personal goal to fish in all 50 states. The goal was reached when I completed a trip to Alaska to catch a few Halibut. I did not manage to catch fish in EVERY state, but did wet a line in every one.
WHAT MILITARY ASSOCIATIONS ARE YOU A MEMBER OF, IF ANY? WHAT SPECIFIC BENEFITS DO YOU DERIVE FROM YOUR MEMBERSHIPS?
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - What military associations are you a member of, if any? What specific benefits do you derive from your memberships?Life Member TWS
Life Member 1stMarDiv Assoc:
Member Marine Corps Assoc:
Member Marine Corps League
Member The Naval Heritage Center:
Member Marine Corps Heritage Foundation:

No specific benefits as I just enjoy being a member of these fine organizations.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS SERVING IN THE MILITARY INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU HAVE APPROACHED YOUR LIFE AND YOUR CAREER?
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - In what ways has serving in the military influenced the way you have approached your life and your career?My service in the Marine Corps has greatly influenced my life and career. For one thing, I knew from the time of enlistment that I was made to be a Marine, so I kept on reenlisting. That was career one.

Career Two, Data Processing Operations Manager was made possible by the off duty schooling available to me, computer courses in particular. My civilian employers greatly appreciated my military background and manner in getting things done.
BASED ON YOUR OWN EXPERIENCES, WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE RECENTLY JOINED THE MARINE CORPS?
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to those who have recently joined the Marine Corps?My advice to those Marines still serving would be to spend less time in the Slop Shute and devote more time to studying through the many educational opportunities available with MCI or off duty college courses when available. It worked for me.

The many studies I undertook in my spare time were reflected in my fitness reports, which in turn resulted in my rapid advancement in rank.
IN WHAT WAYS HAS TOGETHERWESERVED.COM HELPED YOU REMEMBER YOUR MILITARY SERVICE AND THE FRIENDS YOU SERVED WITH.
MGySgt James LEATHER (MGYSGT) - In what ways has TogetherWeServed.com helped you remember your military service and the friends you served with.When TWS commenced operations I was among the first to climb aboard and become a "PLANKOWNER". It was a Marine thing so I did it. I would never join any other organizations such as Facebook, YouTube etc. They are a pure waste of time and serve no practical purpose to me.

TWS has given me the chance to eulogize my buddy of over six decades, CWO-3 D.J. (DOC) O'Connor. He was among the finest Marines in the Corps. He died 7 January 2006 and is greatly missed.

With TWS I can always remember my fallen comrades and meet new Marine brothers. As to a bond with those I served with, there are very few left. Most have shipped out to guard the Heavenly Gates.

Published in TWS "Voices" January 27, 2011

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