Northeast Alabama Community College will host a community-wide Veterans Day reception on Thursday, November 10th, at 10:00 a.m. in the Tom Bevill Lyceum.
This year’s guest speaker will be Brigadier General Jerry C. McAbee of Rainsville. Refreshments will follow the program, and the college extends an invitation to anyone who wishes to attend.
Brigadier General McAbee retired from the United States Marine Corps in August 2005 after serving 35 years and 7 months on active duty. Brigadier General McAbee is a native of Rainsville, Alabama, and graduated from Jacksonville State University in Alabama in 1970 where he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, U. S. Marine Corps through the Platoon Leaders Course.
After completing The Basic School and the Field Artillery Officer Basic Course, he was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 10th Marines in Camp Lejeune, North Carolina where he served as a forward observer, fire direction officer, battery executive officer, assistant battalion operations officer, and headquarters battery commander.
In July 1973, he was transferred to Alameda, California, for duty as the Executive Officer of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Ranger (CVA-61). After completing this tour in October 1974, he was transferred to Parris Island, South Carolina, where he served in 2nd Recruit Training Battalion as a series commander, company commander, and Battalion S-4/headquarters company commander.
In 1978 he was transferred to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he completed the Field Artillery Officer Advanced Course. In October 1978, he was transferred to Twentynine Palms, California, where he served as the Commanding Officer of the 4th 155mm Howitzer Battery (Self Propelled) and S-3, 4th Battalion, 11th Marines. During the academic year 1981 - 1982, he attended the Marine Corps Command and Staff College at Quantico, Virginia, and was subsequently assigned to Casablanca, Morocco, where he served as Commanding Officer, Company B, Marine Security Guard Battalion from July 1982 - July 1984. In August 1984, he was assigned to an air/ground exchange tour with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Okinawa, Japan, where he served as the Wing Training Officer, Assistant Plans Officer, and Plans Officer.
From July 1985 to July 1988, he was assigned as Operations Officer, Assistant Chief of Staff G-3, 7th Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Twentynine Palms, California. After attending the National War College during the academic year 1988-1989, he was assigned to U. S. Central Command where he served as Chief of the Ground Operation Branch of the Current Operations Division during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and subsequently as Deputy Chief of the Exercise Division, both of the Operations Directorate.
From June 1992 to April 1994, he commanded the 11th Marine Regiment at Camp Pendleton, California, and from December 1992 to March 1993, he was assigned as the Commander 1st Marine Division while the Commanding General was deployed to Somalia for Operation Restore Hope.
From June 1994 to May 1997, he was assigned as the Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Combat Development Command at Quantico, Virginia. From June 1997 to May 1998, he was assigned as the Chief of Staff, I Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Pendleton, California. From June 1998 to July 1999, he was assigned as the Chief of Staff, Marine Forces Pacific at Camp Smith, Hawaii. From July 1999 to June 2001, he served as the Chief of Staff, United States Southern Command, Miami, Florida.
From September 2001 to August 2004, BGen McAbee served concurrently as Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific; Deputy Commanding General, III Marine Expeditionary Force; and Commanding General, Marine Corps Bases Hawaii. During this same period and to August 2005, he also served as Deputy Commanding General, U. S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command during which he supported U.S. Marine Corps combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and contingency operations in Djibouti, Africa.
After retiring, Brigadier General McAbee consulted on national security issues in the Middle East and East Africa with Cubic Global Defense. He also served as the Vice President and General Manager for DHS Systems, LLC operations in Huntsville, Alabama. He is the author of “Stubborn Men and Parched Corn,” a Civil War book about the Eighteenth Georgia Volunteer Infantry Regiment.
Brigadier General McAbee is married to the former Margaret Ann Noel of Fort Payne, Alabama. They have 2 children - - Michael, who is a graduate of the University of Alabama, and Heather, who is a graduate of the University of South Florida. BGen McAbee’s personal decorations include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with three Gold Stars in lieu of subsequent awards, Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal with Gold Star in lieu of a subsequent award, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and the Navy Achievement Medal.
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