Memorial: Sergeant Major Robert E. Cleary

We’ve just been notified that the 10th Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Robert E. Cleary has passed away.

Assuming the post of Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps on the 28th of June 1983, Sergeant Major Cleary was a Marine’s Marine. He was the last Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps to have served in the Korean War. In addition to his service in the Korean War, Sergeant Major Cleary also fought in Vietnam earning a Silver Star, Navy Commendation Medal as well as two Purple Hearts.

We’d love to say that “They just don’t make Marines like that anymore,” but we can’t, thanks in large part to Sergeant Major Cleary and the other Marines of his time, who carved out a legacy that every Marine honors to this very day.

Robert E. Cleary

Serving in the Marine Corps from 1951 till his retirement in 1987, Cleary was an icon, serving his nation faithfully, enduring all matter of hardships and wounds for almost four decades, Robert E. Cleary set a clear example to the United States of America of what a Marine should look like.

After 36 years of faithful service, the battle-tested warrior retired to the Virginia Beach area, where he passed away on February 11th, 2018 at the age of 86 years old.

Sergeant Major, in your passing we remember your faithful service, the numerous battles and times you risked your life for millions of Americans, some who would never even know your name. For your example, and your years of steadfast service you truly exemplified our motto of “Semper Fidelis” and set a standard for every Marine to follow. We hope that we lived up to your standard and that of the Marines you served with. Fair winds and following seas to you Sergeant Major, we know you’re just regrouping for a counter-attack with the rest of our brethren. Say “Hi” to Chesty for us.

Robert E. Cleary

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