Best Defense

41 years in the Marines

I didn’t know it was possible, but Col. Wayne Steele has served in the Marine Corps for 41 years. Now 61 years old, he is deployed to Afghanistan. He’s been a gunnery sergeant and a CWO5 and, for the last 30 years, an officer. One of his sons will retire from the Army before he ...

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I didn’t know it was possible, but Col. Wayne Steele has served in the Marine Corps for 41 years. Now 61 years old, he is deployed to Afghanistan. He’s been a gunnery sergeant and a CWO5 and, for the last 30 years, an officer. One of his sons will retire from the Army before he retires from the Marines.

It reminds me of the time I saw an old soldier wearing an Americal combat patch in Baghdad. But he had broken time.

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com.

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