JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - General Al Gray, USMC (Retired), 29th Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, was elected to the Carolina Museum of the Marine Board of Directors by a unanimous vote on Thursday, October 19.
"It is a distinct privilege to join all of you and work towards making this great concept happen," General Gray said. "As we Marines, and the Sailors who serve with us, know, the difficult missions can be accomplished and the seemingly impossible tasks just take us a little longer."
Gray describes the expanded mission of the Carolina Museum as the "overall opportunity to provide a forward-thinking Museum designed to: (1) ensure that the contributions of our Carolina Marines to our Nation's freedom are remembered, (2) most importantly, teach young people and older alike, through the use of advanced technologies, the civic virtue in understanding what made our great Nation a leader of the free world and (3) help prepare our young people to lead, to follow and to cope with future challenges."
Known by many as "a Marine's Marine," General Gray served as commanding general of Second Marine Division in the early 1980s, and continues to be a familiar face and friend to many in Onslow County. Subsequently, he was reassigned as Commanding General, FMF, Atlantic / Commanding General, II MEF, and Commanding General, FMF, Europe.
From 1987 to 1991, General Gray served as the 29th Commandant of the Marine Corps, as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and as advisor to both Presidents Reagan and George H. W. Bush. Since retiring in 1991, General Gray has served on numerous public and private corporate boards, chairing three public companies and three private. He currently serves as a Senior Fellow for the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies in Arlington, VA where he also serves as Chairman of the Board of Regents.
"For those of us privileged to have served under General Gray's inspirational leadership, he is revered as our 'Warfighting Commandant,'" Museum Board Chairman Colonel John B. Sollis, USMC (Retired) said. "His dynamic influence and intellect were absolutely transformational."
"General Gray's keen and visionary interest in science and technology adds to the already extensive list of reasons we're thrilled to have him join our mission," Executive Director Ashley Danielson said. "We are undertaking a new business model that will coalesce Marine Corps history with science and technology, education and research."
Gray is also featured in the Museum's Home of the Brave Campaign airing on FOX Eastern Carolina and WCTI.