Hundreds gathered for the retirement ceremony in honor of Savannah native Lieutenant General Walter E. Gaskin. The ceremony was held last Friday, September 20, 2013 at the United State Marine Barracks in Washington D. C.
Many attendees were from Savannah and Savannah State University. It was a beautiful evening with a full moon shining as the ceremony included the Marine Band performing so beautiful the National Anthem and a medley of Motown songs.
General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps, gave remarks during the ceremony congratulating Lt. General Gaskin on a job well done. He thanked him for his service and his friendship.
During the ceremony, Lt. General Gaskin received several awards as well as his Order of Retirement. After the awards presentation, Lt. General Gaskin gave remarks naming four influences that make up his entire being. Those four influences are God’s Grace, the love of family, the institution of Savannah State College (now University) and the Marine Corps.
Following Lt. General Gaskin’s remarks, Dora Gaskin, Lt. General Gaskin’s wife, received flowers and accolades. After his official announcement of retirement, Lt. General Gaskin and his wife Dora walked away from the ceremony to the tune of Ray Charles’ “Georgia”. A reception was held immediately following the ceremony
Gaskin began his military career after his 1974 graduation from Savannah State University’s NROTC Scholarship Program with a Bachelor of Science degree. Gaskin also earned a Masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma in 1992. He has also completed the Senior Executive Seminar from the JFK School of Government, Harvard University in 2002. His professional military education includes The Basic School and Amphibious Warfare School (1982-83) in Quantico; the United States Army Command and Staff College, Leavenworth, KS (1986-87); the Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, PA (1993-1994); and the Combined/Joint Force Land Component Command (C/JFLCC) Course, Carlisle Barracks, Carlisle, PA (2009).
Lt. General Walter E. Gaskin assumed his duties as the Deputy Chairman, NATO Military Committee, Brussels, Belgium on March 22, 2010.
Gaskin served as the Commanding General of the 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, NC from June 2006 until July 2008. He simultaneously served as the Commanding General of II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). During this tour, Gaskin led II MEF (FWD) during its year-long deployment to Al Anbar Province, Iraq as the Commanding General of Multinational Forces-West.
Previous assignments as a General Officer include service as the Vice Director of The Joint Staff, Washing, D.C. from July 2008 until May 2009 and as the Commanding General of Marine Corps Recruiting Command in Quantico, VA beginning in July 2004. Additionally, he served as the Chief of Staff, Naval Striking and Supporting Forces-Europe in Naples, Italy from 2002 to 2004. Gaskin’s first assignment as a General Officer was the Commanding General Training and Education Command in Quantico in March 2000.
In addition to his time as Commanding General, Lt. General Gaskin has served four times with the 2d Marine Division (3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment,; 1st Battalion, 2nd Marines; 6th Marine Regiment; and 2nd Battalion,, 2nd Marines). During his assignment to 2nd Battalion, 2nd Marines, Lt General Gaskin was the Commanding Officer and also served as the Commanding Officer of Battalion Landing Team 2/2 when the battalion was assigned to 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), II MEF for deployment as Landing Forces-6th Fleet (LF6F) during Operations Assured Response and Quick Response in defense of American Embassies in Liberia and The Central African Republic.
Gaskin’s other previous assignments with II MEF include service as the G-3 Current Operations Action Officer and Operations Officer for II MEF (FWD) supporting Exercise Battle Griffin in Norway; Head of Expeditionary Operations for II MEF G-3; and as Commanding Officer of 22nd MEU (SOC) during deployment as LF6F, participating in Exercises Bright Star 99/00 in Egypt and Infinite Moonlight in Jordan and acting as the Strategic Reserve for operations in Bosnia and Kosovo.
In addition to his service at Camp Lejeune, Lt General Gaskin has also served with 3rd Force Service Support Group (Echo and Foxtrot Logistics Support
Units); 3rd Marine Division (Division Command Center) in Okinawa, Japan; and with Combined Forces Command C/J-3, Seoul, South Korea as the Head of Ground Forces Branch. Lt General Gaskin’s supporting establishment service includes assignment as Series Commander and Company Commanding at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC; Marine Officer Instructor, Savannah State University NROTC Unit; Assistant Officer Selection Officer, Recruiting Station Macon, GA; Action Officer in charge of Unit Environmental Training Programs for Marine Corps Combat Development Center; and Ground Colonel’s Monitor at Headquarters Marine Corps.
Lt. General Gaskin is married to the former Dora Hall (Lieutenant Colonel, USA, Ret) of New Orleans, LA. The Couple has four children; Ronald of Jacksonville, NC; Rosalyn and her husband Maurice of Savannah, GA; Michael, a Chief Warrant Officer 3, USA and his wife Anita of Ft. Gordon, GA; and Walter of Savannah, GA. He is the son of the late Peggy and Joseph Lovewine.
For more info on Lt. General Walter E. Gaskin’s career and photos from the ceremony visit www.savannahtribune.com