Photo Information

MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. — Garry Neal, regional emergency manager, Marine Corps Installations East, has 22 years of experience as a firefighter and 17 years of experience in emergency management and began working for MCIEAST at the end of 2014. Neal plans to implement more accessible emergency response training and create awareness about emergency response.

Photo by Lance Cpl Ned Johnson

MCI East welcomes new regional emergency manager

21 Jan 2016 | Lance Cpl. Ned Johnson Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune

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 disasters.”

            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 headquarters.”

            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 I’m doing.”