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Col. William Bentley, the commanding officer of Marine Corps Base Quantico, Elaine Marsh, and her family pose for a photo during Elaine’s retirement at Lejeune Hall aboard MCB Quantico, Virginia, January 3, 2019. Elaine served as a federal employee for 31 years and 11 months.

Photo by Tammy Smith

Elaine Marsh, Commander's Secretary retires from over 31 years of federal service

4 Jan 2019 | Tammy Smith Marine Corps Base Quantico

After 31 years and 11 months of federal service, Marine Corps Base Quantico said goodbye to one of their most beloved team members.  Ms. Elaine Marsh, the cornerstone of the command deck retired yesterday, January 3, from her role as the Commander’s Secretary.

Elaine began her career in the Federal Service at the age of 17 as a high school senior and ends her career on the eve of her 60th birthday.  Nine years ago, she joined the team in the command deck, reluctantly leaving the naval clinic on Marine Corps Base Quantico. She started at the clinic midway through her career and truly loved her position and had made many friends there. Despite her hesitation, the promotion to the Commander’s Secretary in January of 2010 was an opportunity she could not pass on.

Since then, Elaine has been the face of the MBCQ command suite.  She has been responsible for coordinating and de-conflicting busy schedules, handling the details of meetings and events, facilitating VIP visits, and managing the administrative details of the past four base commanders. 

But what makes Ms. Marsh special has been the ease in which she has developed friendships across the base.  Her ability to naturally connect with others has made her the embodiment of continuity in an office that changes every three years.  During times of transition, her knowledge of the base and her fellow staff has made her an invaluable resource to the command deck.  Col William Bentley, Base Commander, in the presence of the past three base commanders stated “She has assisted us the whole way through” before presenting her with a commander’s coin, certificates, and a flag flown over LeJeune Hall and signed by all of the command deck staff.

With tears in her eyes and her husband and family by her side, Elaine closed her ceremony very simply when she said, “I am looking forward to being retired, to traveling, and being with my children and grandchild.” 

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