Sergeant Major Robert Earl Cleary passes

| February 18, 2018 | 33 Comments

Mick sends us the sad news that Sergeant Major Robert Earl Cleary, the tenth Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps has passed at the age of 86;

Sergeant Major Cleary served his country and the Corps with extraordinary pride and accomplishment for 36 years. He was trained in Demolition, was assigned to multiple Rifle Companies, served with the Military Police, was a Drill Instructor and was assigned to numerous Aviation Units. He served four combat tours to include one in Korea and three in Vietnam. He was and is the absolute epitome of a Marine. As a result, he was selected and served as the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, the highest enlisted position, for his final four years in the uniform.

His awards include the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, three Air Medals, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat “V” and a gold star in lieu of a second award, Navy Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm, and Combat Aircrew Wings with three stars.

A memorial mass will be held on February 20 at 1:00 PM at St John the Apostle Catholic Church, 1968 Sandbridge Road, Virginia Beach. Cremated remains will be interred at the church and a reception will follow in the Church Commons…In lieu of flowers the Cleary family requests that your donations be made to St John the Apostle for School and Outreach or the Virginia Beach Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.’

Category: We Remember

Comments (33)

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  1. AW1Ed says:

    Purple Heart, CAR, Navy Com with “V” device, Air Medal, Silver Star, Combat Aircrew Wings. This guy was a BAMF.
    Fair winds and following seas, Marine.

  2. Frank says:

    Please note the complete absence of compensatorily large motor cycle, mirror sun glasses, gay leather vests with patches and other forms of indickators

  3. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star to Gunnery Sergeant Robert Earl Cleary (MCSN: 1223540), United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as Third Platoon Commander with Company G, Second Battalion, First Marines, FIRST Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against insurgent communist (Viet Cong) forces in the Republic of Vietnam. On 25 June 1966, during Operation JAY, Gunnery Sergeant Cleary and his platoon came into heavy contact with a well-entrenched Viet Cong Battalion located in a tree line near the village of Ap My Phu. Upon making contact with the enemy, he launched his platoon into the assault and with complete disregard for his own safety, moved among his men shouting instructions and words of encouragement. At one point in the assault, he spotted four automatic weapons and one sixty millimeter mortar that were delivering a deadly hail of fire into his advancing platoon. Immediately he moved along the tree line and through the vicious hostile fire to direct one of his squads in destroying the Viet Cong emplacements. Although wounded, he refused to be evacuated in order to maintain the impetus of his platoon’s assault. By his daring actions and loyal devotion to duty in the face of great personal danger, Gunnery Sergeant Cleary upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service.

    Action Date: June 25, 1966

  4. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    He enlisted when he was 19 and retired after 36 years of military service. He then enjoyed 20 years of retirement. We don’t want to lose him or his kind, but it’s nice to know that he had a long and valuable life and was able to relax for some years.

  5. UpNorth says:

    Rest in Peace, Sergeant Major. Well done.

  6. 2banana says:

    Even at 86, he could kick the crap out of a kneeling NFL snowflake.

  7. Mason says:

    Enjoy Valhalla, Sergeant Major. You’ve more than earned it.

  8. RGR 4-78 says:

    Rest in Peace.

  9. Sparks says:

    Rest in peace Sir.

  10. jonp says:

    Chesty Approves.
    Thank God for men like these protecting our Nation.
    RIP Marine

  11. There is a seat at the head of a table in Valhalla and a cup of ale await.

  12. Thunderstixx says:

    I pity the poor fool that walked on his grass…

  13. Stacy0311 says:

    Had a drill instructor named SGT Cleary. Thought for a moment this was him. I was mistaken (I’m not THAT old). But the look like twins.

  14. Green Thumb says:

    Rest Well, Marine.

  15. JacktheJarhead says:

    That is a Get your hands out of your pockets, square away that cover, field strip that cigarette butt and get off my grass Marine type of stare!

  16. Cris says:

    I had the misfortune of being on the receiving end of that glare as a young Marine as he and the Commandant passed by in their vehicle. To this day, the only thing I can think I did, or not do, was snap my salute quick enough as they passed by.

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