General Keller Rockey: Rocking through two World Wars

So there was once this Marine officer and there were these things called World Wars, and Keller Rockey, marched right through both of them earning not one, but two Navy Crosses and one Distinguished Service Cross…so he’s kind of a big deal.

Marines are not always credited with being extremely intelligent or talented in a variety of ways (people are wrong, we’re great), but one thing nobody disputes is that Marines know how to fight and win. That is something that General Keller Rockey (then a junior officer) demonstrated extremely well during the Aisne-Marne Defensive where he continually exposed himself to enemy fire in order to bring up supports to the front lines. As we’ve seen in the course of history with awards for valor such as the Navy Cross, a Purple Heart usually accompanies the higher award, not in Rockey’s case. Make no mistake, building up the supports and fighting through the trenches of World War 1 was no picnic, to make it out unscathed is a huge accomplishment.

During the time in between wars, Keller made his way to Haiti and Nicaragua doing what Marines do, until he returned to Washington. There he became the Chief of Staff for the 2nd Marine Division.

When World War 2 broke out, Keller Rockey made his way through some Headquarters Marine Corps stuff before he made his way to the Pacific fleet to command the 5th Marine Division and 3rd Amphibious Corps, and then he and his merry band of miscreants (along with other Marine divisions) assaulted Iwo Jima effectively driving the nail in the coffin of Imperial Japan.

You never know where life will take you and what things you’ll accomplish. From junior officer to Lieutenant General over the course of two of histories most defining wars, Keller Rockey served in an age of Marine Corps legends, let us not forget how incredible his contributions to both war efforts were.

 

Read more stories of American Grit here:

RALPH H. BOELK: A HARD LIFE IS A GOOD LIFE

JESSE OWENS: BETTER THAN THE REST

ANTHONY T. KAHO’OHANOHANO: EVERYTHING YOU’VE GOT

Know what we're sayin fam?

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