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Service Before Self: The Evolution from Cadet to General


General Walters was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in Summerall Chapel at the end of his senior year at The Citadel. He volunteered to be an infantry platoon commander. After attending flight school in Pensacola, he became a naval aviator in 1981. Walters flew AH-1W Super Cobra Attack Helicopters and the MV-22 Osprey aircraft. He was deployed overseas numerous times with tours that included Korea, the Arabian Gulf and Afghanistan.

In 1994, Walters met Gail Hanna, a communications specialist, and fell in love. They were married a year later and have been a team ever since.

As Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Walters oversaw approximately 184,000 active duty and 38,000 reserve Marines and a $42 billion budget. His military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Meritorious Service Medal with Star, the Air Medal, and numerous campaign and unit awards.

“Selfie” in a jet cockpit, 1990, US Naval Test Pilot School, Patuxent River, Maryland

General and Mrs. Walters on their wedding day, September 23, 1994, Camp Pendleton, California

Posing with a Cobra attack helicopter, 1992, Yuma, Arizona