Beaufort’s Russ Gleason, 87, joined the United States Navy in 1956 in Boston. He attended Officer Candidate School in Newport and Explosive Ordnance Demolition (EOD) training before being assigned to Key West where he evaluated new ordnance in the water. He then was assigned to USS Boston (CAG-1) and USS Yancey (LKA-93) during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Bay of Pigs as a boat commander (never going ashore). His next assignment was in Washington developing equipment for the SEALS and EOD. In 1966 he was in command of Boat Support Unit 1 in San Diego preparing the coastal and riverine craft and crews deploying to Vietnam. Next he served as Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Unit in Utica, N.Y. He then commanded Coastal River Division 22 near New Orleans, where he was promoted to Commander. His subsequent tours included Operations Officer at Naval Reserve Center Denver and then at Naval Reserve Readiness Command Great Lakes, thereafter returning to command the Denver Reserve Center as a Navy Captain (O-6). He retired in 1980 after 24 years of continuous active service. He has remained active in social/veterans organizations including Rotary, AMVETS and VFW.
– Compiled by John Chubb, American Legion Post 9. For nominations, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.