MARINE CORPS AIR GROUND COMBAT CENTER TWENTYNINE PALMS -- Col. John E. Kasperski, G-4 assistant chief of staff, Marine Air Ground Task Force Training Command, brought his distinguished 29-year Marine Corps career to an end during his retirement ceremony at the Protestant Chapel, July 31, 2015.
During the ceremony, Kasperski was awarded the Legion of Merit along with an American flag that was flown over the Combat Center, in recognition of his service, July 11.
“It’s great and I hold all the letters and awards in high regard,” Kasperski said. “I have been very lucky to have great non-commissioned officers who served around me as well as to have been blessed with great leadership.”
Kasperski attended the University of Tulsa on an athletic scholarship for football and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising and Public Relations. Combat Center Commanding General Maj. Gen. Lewis A. Craparotta served as the retiring officer for the ceremony and shared remarks on Kasperski’s extensive career as a logistics officer.
“He was good enough to sign with the New York Jets and made 3 preseason games before, unfortunately for the team and fortunately for his country and Corps, he didn’t make the final cut,” Craparotta said. “He went back to Tulsa and in his words, ‘still looking for adventure,’ walked into the [Officer Selection Office] where he signed up to be a Marine Corps officer.”
Craparotta went on to talk about the different capacities in which Kasperski had served throughout his career to include; commander of Combat Logistics Battalion 11 and Combat Logistics Regiment 37, camp commander at Camp Kinser, Okinawa, Japan, and Commandant of the Marine Corps Logistics Fellow at Pennsylvania State University. Craparotta also praised Kasperski’s many accomplishments while serving as an assistant chief of staff aboard the Combat Center.
“I’m nothing but impressed by the depth of knowledge that he had over the broad expanse of what is the G-4,” Craparotta said. “He has worked very closely with [Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs] in both water and energy conservation. Quite frankly, his work with NREA has put us on the forefront for the Marine Corps and in many cases the Department of Defense.”
Capt. Julie Markow, motor transport company commander, Marine Wing Support Squadron 374, worked under Kasperski as a maintenance management officer.
“Working with him was an awesome experience, he gave you the freedom to make decisions and get things done,” Markow said. “He always had the trust in his Marines to get things done the way they needed to happen and when you really needed the assistance he was always there to help.”
While Kasperski’s Marine Corps career has come to an end, he sees it as a new beginning and has accepted a job with the Department of the Navy.
“Over the years, I’ve worked for great people, but more importantly I’ve worked with great Marines,” Kasperski said. “Overall, I think it was a great career and I’m glad I stuck around. I’ve had diverse assignments and worked and served with fantastic Americans. What else can you ask for?”