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Brig. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, the Combat Center's commanding general, shakes the hand of Col. David N. Gill, the former branch head and officer-in-charge of the Individual Mobilization Augment Detachment, Career Management Team, Reserve Affairs, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps, after being presented the Legion of Merit during his retirement ceremony at the Combat Center's Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field June 30.

Photo by Cpl. Margaret Clark Hughes

Colonel bids final farewell

14 Jul 2009 | Cpl. Margaret Clark Hughes

A Combat Center leader and long-time Marine said his final farewell to Marines, sailors, family and friends during his retirement ceremony at Lance Cpl. Torrey L. Gray Field Tuesday.

Col. David N. Gill, the former branch head and officer-in-charge of the Individual Mobilization Augment Detachment, Career Management Team, Reserve Affairs, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Headquarters Marine Corps, bid farewell to the Marine Corps after 30 years of dedicated service.

Gill was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1979 and reported to 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., shortly after.

Gill worked his way through the officer ranks, and was appointed to key billets in Camp Pendleton, Okinawa, Japan, Quantico, Va. and Twentynine Palms, Calif. 

He was mobilized in 2001 during Operation Enduring Freedom to Afghanistan and again in 2005 to Fallujah, Iraq.  Gill extended in Iraq until he was demobilized in 2007, where he reported to his final unit at the IMA detachment.

He is a graduate of the Marine Corps Amphibious Warfare School, Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and the Air Force Air War College.

Brig. Gen. Charles M. Gurganus, the Combat Center’s commanding general, was the retiring officer for the ceremony and presented Gill with a Legion of Merit, a Certificate of Retirement, a Certificate of Appreciation from President Barack Obama, and a farewell letter from the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James T. Conway.

Gurganus also said a few words about Gill and his contributions to the Marine Corps.

“There are few that are qualified to be Marines, but there are very few that make it to 30 years,” Gurganus said. “You’ve done an awful lot for this country and an awful lot for the Marine Corps. We are a better Twentynine Palms community because you’re a part of it.”

After the general’s speech, Gill said his final thoughts, and farewell to his family and friends in attendance. He repeated an influential quotation that stuck with him since the age of 6 and inspired him to join the military.

“Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” he said, referring to the famous quotation from late President John F. Kennedy. 

Gill said joining the Marine Corps was the best decision of his life, but could not have done it without the support of his family, especially his wife, Rose.

“She made sure everything was in place all the time,” he said. “They [my family] stayed with me.”

Rose was also recognized during the ceremony with a Certificate of Appreciation from Gurganus for her contributions as a long-time military spouse.

Gill’s personal awards include the Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy-Marine Corps Commendation Medals and one Navy-Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms