MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Dozens of honored guests and friends listened as Col. Darrel Thacker delivered his last speech as a Marine at the Marine Corps Air Station New River Officers Club, APRIL 19.
Thacker said farewell to the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and MCAS New River communities he honorably served and the colleagues he has worked with for the last 34 years.
Thacker received the Legion of Merit with gold star for service as assistant chief of staff for G-7 and later the Deputy Commander for Camp Lejeune. He showed exemplary dedication during his time as Deputy Commander, managing seven installations along the east coast and coordinating billion dollar budgets for construction projects aboard Camp Lejeune.
After enlisting in the Marine Corps in 1979 and his commissioning in 1983, Thacker served as operations officer, executive officer and commanding officer of Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 162. Thackers other commands include executive officer of Marine Aircraft Group 29 and 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (special operations capable), wing operations officer of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing forward and commanding officer of MCAS New River.
As a friend and fellow Marine, today is a day to remember and a day to enjoy, said Brig. Gen. Thomas Gorry, commanding general Marine Corps Installations East – Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
“As a commander, an operations officer and a safety officer, he’s met every challenge over the past 34 years,” added Gorry. It’s an honor to share this day with him.”
During the ceremony, Thacker graciously thanked many county and city officials for sharing the day with him, the audience responded with warm applause and kind words after the ceremony ended.
“I have enjoyed serving the country and the Jacksonville and Onslow County areas for the past few years,” said Thacker. “If I could do it all again I would, I have no regrets.”