MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE,
N.C. — Natural
disasters, manmade mishaps and technological disasters can all create a state
of emergency, and when it does, who is in charge?
The answer is simple: an emergency
manger helps prepare for and oversees emergency responses during a disaster.
Garry Neal, who began working for
Marine Corps Installations East at the end of 2015, is the man in charge of
each emergency manager on the six installations that full under MCIEAST.
Neal, who has 22 years of experience
as a firefighter and 17 years of experience in emergency management, is the new
regional emergency manager.
According to the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, “Emergency management is the managerial function charged
with creating the framework within which communities reduce vulnerability to
hazards and cope with disasters. Emergency management seeks to promote safer,
less vulnerable communities with the capacity to cope with hazards and
For Neal, that means improving the
current training manuals for the installations and providing his knowledge and
experience to the individual managers below him.
“I’m excited to be here and get to
work,” said Neal, a native of Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
“I’m here to assist the individual
managers and provide them with guidance,” said Neal. “I monitor what is going on and I
make myself available to them and am the conduit between them and higher
Over the last ten years, Neal worked
for FEMA and several other government contractor jobs in emergency management
before being hired. His only other trip to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune prior
to moving here was a late-night road trip to pick up a friend in the 1970’s.
Neal’s resume speaks clearly of his
skillset managing emergencies. In 2001, he was hired by the New York Fire
Department to help train and rebuild after the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
He also was a lead exercise
coordinator for the Center for Disease Control before working for the
Department of Homeland Security.
Before coming to Camp Lejeune, Neal
worked for a contracting company creating training programs to prepare
emergency services across the nation for disasters.
Now, he and his wife have bought a
home only a few minutes away from the eastern North Carolina coast, and Neal
continues to do a job he enjoys.
“She loves it here, and I love what