MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- With the support of his friends and family, Master Gunnery Sgt. Charles E. Vinson wore his Marine Corps uniform for one last time at his retirement ceremony here, Aug. 19.
Vinson, chief supply administrator, G-4, Headquarters Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, retired from the Corps after 30 years of faithful service.
“There are certain times in a Marine’s career that he is allowed to choose his officer – promotion, reenlistment and promotion,” said Maj. William Frazier Jr., G-4 deputy, 1st MLG. “I am honored to be chosen by him to be his retiring officer.”
Having only been working with Vinson for a little over a year, Frazier noticed a few things about him.
“When I look at Master Gunnery Sgt. Vinson, I see a wise, humble, and patient man,” Frazier said. “He understands how to use all the knowledge he gained in life and during his Marine Corps career to assist others.”
As a young boy growing up, Vinson knew he wanted to become a Marine, Vinson said.
“It wasn’t because of the recruiter. It wasn’t for the uniform. When I watched the movie, The Sands of Iwo Jima, that’s what really captured my attention for joining the Marine Corps,” Vinson said. “It was their will to fight and how they fought gallantly. From that point on, I told myself that I wanted to be a part of that organization. After the first term, I knew I was going to be a career Marine.”
From Montgomery, Al., Vinson attended basic training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Paris Island, S.C., in 1981. During his 30 years of service, Vinson deployed to Norway with 5th Battalion, 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division in 1983, and to Afghanistan in 2010 with 1st MLG (FWD).
Vinson said that his Marines’ success reflects his image as a leader.
“Master Gunnery Sgt. Vinson was a great leader,” said Cpl. Jeanique LaCour, administrative clerk, G-4, CLR-17, 1st MLG. “It was a privilege to work for him.”
Lacour was grateful to be able to learn from Vinson as a young noncommissioned officer, she said. Vinson took the time to pass on some of the knowledge he’s gained during his career.
“I know I’m not the only one he has helped out,” said LaCour. “I’m sure he has inspired numerous Marines over the span of his career.”
Frazier agreed with LaCour.
“Vinson is a great man and was well respected by everyone he worked with,” Frazier added. “Even though he’s leaving the Marine Corps, the Corps hasn’t lost any of the knowledge that he gained because he has deposited that knowledge into those around him.”
Vinson might have left the Corps, but his accomplishments will not be forgotten. According to his retirement ceremony citation, his personal awards include the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with two gold stars in lieu of third award, and the Good Conduct Medal ninth award.
He plans to continue to work in the logistics field as a civilian and to spend time with his wife, Charlena.
“As much as I love the Marine Corps, my family comes first,” said Vinson. “My son is currently going to college and my daughter is living in Washington, so I’ll have more time to be with my wife. My time with the Marine Corps, it has been challenging but rewarding at the same time. I’m glad I got to be a part of this organization.”