Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. --
Marines and sailors with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit bid fair winds and following seas to Master Gunnery Sgt. Richard Herald during his retirement ceremony at the Paradise Point Officers’ Club aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Oct. 13, 2012.
Herald served his final tour in the Marine Corps as operations chief for the 22nd MEU and retired after more than 26 years of faithful service.
Growing up in Hinsdale, N.Y., Herald joined the Marine Corps in 1986 to see the world.
“I grew up in a small town, there wasn’t a whole lot to do there,” said Herald. “I wanted to serve my country.”
Throughout his career, he served in many billets as he moved up the ranks, including mortar team section leader; Search, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School instructor; and operations chief.
“It’s been a great experience, I don’t know how to explain it,” said Herald. He added that the one percent of the country that joins the military would truly understand his experience.
His ten deployments include operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm in 1990, Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2004 and, more recently, the 22nd MEU’s humanitarian assistance deployment to Haiti in 2010. He last deployed with the 22nd MEU during their historic near-11-month deployment in support of Operation Unified Protector in 2011.
“It was awesome making an impact in other countries. Working in strategic operations during peacetime, operations during a time of war,” Herald said. “It’s been amazing.”
Herald said he plans to stay in the Jacksonville area and work as a civilian contractor for the Marine Corps.