Marine General Al Gray

Al Gray enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1950. The closest recruiting office to his Point Pleasant Beach, NJ, home was in New York City, and the recruiting officer was then Major Louis Wilson. In 1976, the 26th Commandant of the Marine Corps, the same Louis Wilson, promoted Al Gray to Brigadier General; General Wilson quipped that he was promoting Al Gray in order to prove that some Marine recruits turned out to be okay.

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Old-timers may recall that in the late 1970s, several senior Marine generals were southerners: General Wilson was from Mississippi; the Assistant Commandant, Robert Barrow, was from Louisiana, and John Miller, who was General Gray’s boss at the time, was from Texas.

Sometime after the promotion ceremony, Brigadier General Gray was part of a panel at Quantico; he was asked to what he attributed his rise through the ranks from enlisted man all the way to general officer? Gray pondered the question for a few seconds and then replied, “Well, my career really took off when I realized that I was from Southern New Jersey.”

General Gray’s sense of humor is one of his finest traits. There are many examples of how he used humor to convey his message.

When he was the Commanding General of the 2nd Marine Division, he once limped into a meeting with his staff and senior commanders. Everyone was concerned about the General’s apparent discomfort as he massaged his shin.

Someone asked, “How did you hurt yourself, General?”

Gray continued to massage his leg and finally answered, “I tripped over some of those weeds near the 2nd Marines’ barracks”

Needless to say, all the lawn mowers at Camp Lejeune were checked out immediately as subordinate commanders made sure their areas were shipshape. Gray’s use of humor to get his point across was much more effective than yelling and screaming would have been, and it maintained the existing high morale of the division.

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Author: Cpl. Beddoe
Cpl, USMC 1981-1985 MCRDSD Plt 3042, Aug 28, 1981 Work hard. Be kind. Pay it forward. Twitter: @txdevildog
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Capt Courageous
Capt Courageous
2022/07/22 19:38

Yeah, it’s that Gen Al G(R)ay that was partying in the Beirut gay clubs and let the barracks get blown to smithereens orchestrated by the Isreali government to try to embroil us to fight for them. It was all ok with Ronnie Ray gun too. Sick people, those in high ranks of USMC, They want us to be sacrifices in their sick ass wars whilst letting us drink the highly poisonous water at Camp Lejeune. All the war pigs knew of this and am sure they didn’t drink of the polluted well. The one good thing is that when Al came aboard our ship, and I was on duty, that I was seriously dreading having to salute and report to the officer on deck, is that he told me not to worry about “All that” those career evil ones are all living into their 90’s while other people that were on that base are dying from dreadful diseases. They should pay back their I’ll gotten gains and go directly to Leavenworth

dennis spangenberg
dennis spangenberg
2021/03/17 10:45

i was a cpl. with 3/2 and i remember seeing gen. gray along with president Reagon’s speach after the Beirut barracks bombing in 1983. I’ll never forget that.

General George
General George
2015/06/24 08:51

Closely in contact with many drug deals and the us intake of drugs traveling through Turkey and Panama. Queer as a 2 dollar bill and has raped dozens of children also being the head guard at many of these (group orgy/homosexual) child rape parties including men on men. A murderer in charge of many mercenaries that kill and get paid by tax payers money. Thanks to a close friend of someone ill just call general George. None of you will believe this but it just shows how idiotic the American people are and their heads are so far up their asses once the time has come many others like this General will be in charge too and doing worse than whats already being done. ABC and NBC diseases. and many more. America and this World has no choice but to die and restart civilization once again for the millionth time.

Stan R. Mitchell
2013/05/09 23:17

Wasn’t it General Gray who used to carry around a canteen cup all the time as Commandant? And talk without ceasing that the Marine Corps existed to fight?

(Maybe that’s all legend, but that’s part of the stories I heard back in the early 90s when NCOs would reminisce about the days when Gray led the Corps.)