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~Young Marine~
S/Sgt.Robert W. Bowman Jr.

I was discharged from the Young Marines in 1978 at the rank of S/Sgt. and my unit was the "Orange County Young Marines" Capt.Hennesy Det., out of Los Alamitos Reserve Center in California. One of the head instructors was Gy/Sgt. Ralph Hutton USMC(Ret.). I was selected as Young Marine of the Year, by the Marine Corps League.

After leaving the Young Marines, my goal was always to be a UNITED STATES MARINE. I graduated early from High School mid term and left for MCRD San Diego, in Jan. 1980, Plt.3011. After completion of Boot Camp, I went to NAS Millington, TN. with MATSG-90 (Marine Air Training Squadron Group), for 8 months training as a Hydraulic/Pnuematic Mechanic. After graduating from school, I was attached to the FMF at Tustin MCAS(H), CA. as a Hydraulic/Pnuematic Mechanic on CH-53A/D Combat Cargo Helicopters. That is when the doors of the Corps really opened for me. In 1983, after a early reenlistment for God, Country, Corps, and Unit, I became a flying First Mechanic/50 Cal. Machine Gunner. In late 1984 I became a Flying Crew Chief/Door Gunner. Also in 1984 I became a Collateral Duty Inspector/Quality Assurance Representative, and noted by my Maintenance Officer Major Jacobson as one of the few in the Air Wing. My unit was HMH-361 "Flying Tigers", MAG-16, 3rd MAW. In 1985 I was transferred to HMT-301 "Wind Walkers", a pilot training squadron. It became stale to me so I transferred back to my old unit HMH-361 in 1985 where I served till 1989 at my time of discharge. I dreaded leaving the Corps, but was marrying a Navy 1st Class Petty Officer,(Yes, Navy) There was no chance for us to be stationed together, so with me having 8 years, and her having 11 years of service I was the one to take the discharge. Ah, but I missed the Corps. So, in Oct.1989 I enlisted in the U.S. Marine Reserve, HMH-772 Det.A, out of NAS Alameda, CA. That is when I realized how small the Corps is. My NCOIC was S/Sgt.Tafoya, who was Cpl. Tafoya in my former squadron when I was a Sgt. He worked for me, and now the roles would change. I was activated for the Gulf War, in the same capacity as I was in Prior-Active Service. In 1993, my Navy Wife was being transferred to Hawaii, with no Marine Reserve Air Wing there.
So, I called my Uncle Sgt.Maj. Bruce Hyland, a Regiment in Hawaii, and he advised me to look into the Air Force Reserve. So, that is where I have been since. I am now a T/Sgt. in the Air Force Reserve at Wright-Patt AFB., OH. You would be surprised how many former Marines there are in the Air Force today. I still celebrate the Marine Corps Birthday every Nov.10th. Hope this is helpful to you.
Thank you for the inquiry.
God Bless America and God Bless our beloved UNITED STATES MARINE CORPS!
OOH-RAH! Semper Fiddles,
Bob Bowman
Former Marine Sgt. of the Corps